The particular structure of the elephants' lungs allows the large pachyderms to remain a few meters under water without serious consequences for blood circulation. Perhaps because their ancestors were marine?
|An elephant crosses a lake. Without problems for the lungs.|
Marine ancestors. What is the reason for this peculiar structure? Many evolutionists think that the ancestors of elephants were aquatic animals (like the current dugongs, which are actually relatives of elephants), and needed this adaptation to survive. When transformed into terrestrial animals, the elephants maintained the structures that protect the lungs from suffocation.
(News updated 10 September 2002)