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The Temple of Nature; Or, the Origin of Society

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Some amphibious quadrupeds, as the beaver, water rat, and otter, aresaid to have the foramen ovale of the heart open, which communicatesfrom one cavity of it to the other; and that, during their continuanceunder water, the blood can thus for a time circulate without passingthrough the lungs; but as it cannot by these means acquire oxygeneither from the air or water, these creatures find it frequentlynecessary to rise to the surface to respire. As this foramen ovale isalways open in the foetus o
...f quadrupeds, till after its birth that itbegins to respire, it has been proposed by some to keep young puppiesthree or four times a day for a minute or two under warm water toprevent this communication from one cavity of the heart to the otherfrom growing up; whence it has been thought such dogs might becomeamphibious. It is also believed that this circumstance has existed insome divers for pearl; whose children are said to have been thus keptunder water in their early infancy to enable them afterwards tosucceed in their employment.

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