Anatomy: Animals Inside

Excretory System

Are any other animals able to drink seawater?

Besides fish, certain birds and reptiles that live near the sea are also able to drink sea-water. These animals have nasal salt glands near their eyes through which they excrete the excess quantities of salt solution. For example, penguins have such a special adaptation because they take in a great deal of saltwater as they swim and catch food. Although they cannot ingest saltwater, they are able to drink such water because of the supraorbital gland (just above their eye socket) that filters excess salt from their blood; from there, a concentrated fluid similar to brine is secreted from the nasal passages. This is also one reason why you see penguins shake their beaks—they are trying to shake off the excess salt around their nasal passages.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Biology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App