How Do Fish Breathe? 🐟

3 min read

Morning Gills!

Have you ever wondered how fish can breathe underwater?

But whenever we try…

We just… die.

See fish breathe in oxygen, just like humans. But somehow they don’t drown.

So, how do fish actually breathe?

Well, we humans use these 2 big sack things in our chests to do this.

We suck in air, which then gets pulled through our windpipe and into our lungs.

The oxygen atoms in this air then pass through the lung walls into tiny blood vessels called capillaries.

This oxygen is then carried through the bloodstream by red blood cells alllllll around the body.

Human breathing 101.

But… how do fish do that?

Well lungs like ours would absolutely suck for fish.

Every time they would take a breath, their lungs would just fill with water and then, boom, dead.

Fish actually use these special organs on the side of their body called gills.

Rather than sucking in, then blowing out like we do, fish have a one-way flow.

The water goes in through the mouth and out through the gills.

And as the water passes through these little feather-like bristles on the gills, they pass by thousands of teeny tiny blood vessels.

These little blood vessels suck up all the oxygen in the water as it gets filtered through the weird fish flaps.

However, because the water is supposed to flow through the mouth and out through the gills, it means if, for whatever reason, the fish gets pulled backwards, it can literally suffocate to death.

The same is true if it's out of water.

If fish spend too long in the air, their gills can completely collapse.

Literally “Drowning” the fish… in the air.

Stay Cute,
Reece, Henry & Dylan 🌈

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