World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Buccal pumping

Article Id: WHEBN0001240165
Reproduction Date:

Title: Buccal pumping  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Lung, Physostome, Vertebrate anatomy, Respiration (physiology), Branchial arch
Collection: Vertebrate Anatomy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Buccal pumping

Buccal pumping is "breathing with one's cheeks": a method of ventilation used in respiration in which the animal moves the floor of its mouth in a rhythmic manner that is externally apparent.[1] It is the sole means of inflating the lungs in amphibians.

There are two methods of buccal pumping, defined by the number of movements of the floor of the mouth needed to complete both inspiration and expiration.


  • Four stroke pumping 1
  • Two stroke pumping 2
  • Buccal and gular pumping in vertebrates 3
  • References 4

Four stroke pumping

Four-stroke buccal pumping is used by some basal ray-finned fish and aquatic amphibians such as Xenopus and Amphiuma.[1] This method has several stages. These will be described for an animal starting with lungs in a deflated state: First, the glottis (opening to the lungs) is closed, and the nostrils are opened. The floor of the mouth is then depressed (lowered), drawing air in. The nostrils are then closed, the glottis opened, and the floor of mouth raised, forcing the air into the lungs for gas exchange. To deflate the lungs, the process is reversed.

The stages of four-stroke buccal pumping

Two stroke pumping

Two-stroke buccal pumping completes the process more quickly, as is seen in most extant amphibians.[1] In this method, the floor of the mouth is lowered, drawing air from both the outside and lungs into the buccal cavity. When the floor of the mouth is raised, the air is pushed out and into the lungs; the amount of mixing is generally small, about 20%.[2]

The stages of two-stroke buccal pumping

Buccal and gular pumping in vertebrates

Gular pumping refers to the same process, but accomplished by expanding and contracting the entire throat to pump air, rather than just relying upon the mouth.

This method of ventilation is inefficient, but is nonetheless used by all air-breathing amphibians and gular pumping is utilized to a varying extent by various reptile species.[3] Mammals, in contrast, use the thoracic diaphragm to inflate and deflate the lungs more directly. Manta ray embryos also breathe by buccal pumping, as mantas give live birth and embryos are not connected to their mother by umbilical cord or placenta as in many other animals.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Brainerd, E. L. (1999). New perspectives on the evolution of lung ventilation mechanisms in vertebrates. Experimental Biology Online 4, 11-28.
  2. ^ Brainerd, E. L. (1998) Mechanics of lung ventilation in a larval salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. J. Exp. Biol. 201:2891–2901
  3. ^ Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Colleen G. Farmer; James W. Hicks; Elizabeth L. Brainerd (4 June 1999). "Contribution of Gular Pumping to Lung Ventilation in Monitor Lizards". Science ( 284 (5420): 1661–1663.  
  4. ^ Tomita, Taketeru; Minoru Toda; Keiichi Ueda; Senzo Uchida; Kazuhiro Nakaya (23 Oct 2012). "Live-bearing manta ray: how the embryo acquires oxygen without placenta and umbilical cord". Biology Letters ( 8 (5): 721–724.  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.