Caterpillars don’t have gills and they don’t hold their breath

Scientists have discovered 12 species of caterpillars that can survive for weeks underwater without ever breaking the surface. They don’t have gills and they don’t hold their breath.

From Site:
Here’s an interesting one: Hawaiian scientists discover a terrestrial caterpillar (that eats tree snails) has an innate ability to survive underwater for weeks at a time. It seems that this isn’t a survival mechanism (just in case they fell out of a tree and into a stream whilst munching on tree snails), but a deliberate mechanism and possibly part of their lifecycle. What’s even more interesting – scientists have no idea how they do it:

Rubinoff and co-worker Patrick Schmitz of the University of Hawaii did not find any water-blocking stopper over the caterpillars’ tracheae or evidence of gills. The animals drowned quickly when kept in standing water, so they seem to need the higher levels of oxygen present in running water, and probably absorb it directly through pores in their body, the scientists said.


*I don't know why I find this so fascinating and neat....*
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