cutaneous respiration


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to cutaneous respiration: Pulmonary respiration

cutaneous respiration

The transpiration of gases through the skin.
See also: respiration

cutaneous respiration

the exchange of gases through the skin. Many lower organisms in the animal kingdom are able to take up oxygen and lose CO2 entirely by diffusion provided they are small enough. Organisms up to 1 mm in diameter can get all their oxygen supply through mere diffusion on the assumption that they consume about 0.05 cm3g-1h -1O2. If their metabolic rate was considerably lower and required less O2, they could have a larger diameter, but lower O2 consumptions than this are rare. Thus, animals exceeding 1 mm in diameter must have a special oxygen-transport system to supply internal tissues. However, even organisms which possess such a system may also carry out gaseous exchange through the skin. Indeed, amphibians have a higher mean-oxygen uptake through the skin than through the lungs in temperatures up to 22 °C.