Our lungs are the organs that bring in oxygen into our body.

In them are thousands of branchlike, tiny tubules, called bronchioles, which are connected to millions of air sacs known as alveoli. A dense network of blood capillaries is found on the surface of each alveolus. When oxygen from the air that we breathe in enters the air sacs, it diffuses into these blood capillaries. At the same time, carbon dioxide from the blood diffuses out into the alveoli before we breathe it out.

The pathway of air: nasal cavities (or oral cavity) -> pharynx -> trachea -> right and left bronchi -> bronchioles -> alveoli (site for gaseous exchange in which oxygen enters and carbon dioxide leaves our lungs).


The are some 300 million alveoli in our two adult lungs. These provide a surface area of some 160m2 (almost 80 times the area of our skin). Only a fraction of the oxygen we inhale is taken up by the lungs.

The Respiratory Structures and Breathing Mechanisms in Humans & AnimalsAdaptations of respiratory structures
1. Characteristics: a) Moist b) Thin

Grasshoppers have air sacs in their tracheal system which speed up the movement of gases. Plasma membrane is the respiratory structure. Tracheae is reinforced with chitin to prevent it from collapsing. Air pressure inside the tracheae is lowered so that air is drawn in. Tracheal system is composed of air tubes called tracheae. the abdominal muscles relax and the spiracles are open. Gills are protected by the operculum. Air is drawn into and out of the tracheae by the rhythmic movements of the abdominalmuscle. Aquatic habitat ensures the plasma membrane is constantly moist. Gills are composed of filaments (large surface area) which are supported by gill arch 4. The tips of the tracheoles have thin .a) TSA/V is small. DiagramThe respiratory structure and breathing mechanism of insects 1. 1. DiagramThe respiratory structure and breathing mechanism of fish The filaments have numerous .2.4. Oxygen and carbon dioxide diffuse directly through the plasma membrane.3. Large number of tracheoles provides a large surface area. Air enters the tracheae through spiracles. When the insect inhales.c) Large surface area 2.7. Tracheae branches into tracheoles.6.2. Large total surface area/volume.5. The respiratory structure and breathing mechanism of amoeba sp.2. Larger organisms require specialized respiratory structures because:.8. permeable walls and contain fluid in whichrespiratory gases can dissolve. Gills are the respiratory structure of fish.4.

thin walled lamellae and rich supply of bloodcapillaries.5. The efficiency of gaseous exchange is enhanced by countercurrent exchangemechanis .

Breathing .6.m (water (oxygen) and blood (deoxygenated) flow in the opposite directionthrough the capillaries in the lamellae.

V e n t i l a t i o n D e v e n t i l a t .mechanism is aided by ventilation. combined action of mouth andoperculum.

i o n Mouth openBuccal cavity pressure loweredOperculu m closedWater moves in The respiratory structure and breathing .

The skin of . When on land or in water.2. frogs breathe to a large extent through the skin.mechanism of amphibians (Figure 7. Skin and lungs.8)1.3.

It is kept moist by the secretion of mucus by glands found on the surface of the body.frogs is thin and highly permeable to respiratory gases. These .4.5.

there is a large number of blood .characteristics facilitate rapid and efficient exchange of gases between the skinand the environment.6. Beneath the skin.

capillaries to receive oxygen andtransport it to body cells.7. The lungs of frogs consist of a pair of thin walled sacs connected to the mouth throughan .

9. The membranes of the lungs are thin.opening called glottis.8. moist and covered by a network of capillaries. As a frog breathes through its .

Air is drawn into the bucco-pharyngeal cavity. The nostrils are then .10.nostrils. the buccopharyngeal floor is lowered and theglottis closes.

12. The lungs expand . As the buco-pharyngeal floor is raised.closed while theglottis opens.11. the increased air pressure forces air into thelungs.

13.when air pushes into them.14. Some air escapes through the nostrils while the . When the lung muscle contracts. air is expelled from the lungs.

rest mixes with the air in the buccopharyngeal cavity.15. and is always movingupwards . The bucco-pharyngeal floor has strong muscular walls.

. The respiratory structure and breathing mechanism of humans.and downwards to inhale and exhale air through the nostrils.

(Figure 7.9) .