Respiratory Systemrespiratory System In Animals

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Respiratory Systemrespiratory System In Animals

Respiratory Systemrespiratory System In Animals

Respiratory System in Animals

The respiratory system in animals is a complex and vital system that facilitates the exchange of gases, primarily oxygen and carbon dioxide. It begins at the nose and ends at the distal alveoli.

Upper Airways

The upper airway includes the nose, sinuses, and pharynx. The nose provides olfaction and temperature regulation in hyperthermic patients. The nasal turbinates humidify and warm air, and filter particulate matter.

Lower Airways

The lower airways include the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. The trachea is a stiff tube reinforced by rings of cartilage. It splits into two tubes called bronchi, which further split off many times to form smaller tubes called bronchioles. These bronchioles lead to sacs called alveoli.


The lungs are a pair of respiratory organs used by mammals. They are comprised of millions of alveoli, where gas exchange occurs. Oxygen moves into the capillary from the alveoli, and carbon dioxide moves into the alveoli from the blood in the capillary.


Ventilation is the process by which air is pulled in and pushed out of the lungs. The diaphragm and intercostal muscles control the volume of the thoracic cavity, which houses the lungs. When you breathe in (inhalation), these muscles contract, increasing the volume of the thoracic cavity and causing air to rush into the lungs. When you breathe out (exhalation), these muscles relax, decreasing the space in the thoracic cavity and forcing air out of the lungs.

Defense Mechanisms

The respiratory system has several defense mechanisms. Large, inhaled airborne particles enter the nose and are deposited along the mucous lining of the nasal passages. Cilia move these particles along the mucosal barrier to the pharynx to be swallowed or expectorated. Small particles may be deposited in the alveoli, where they are phagocytized by macrophages.


The respiratory system is crucial for the survival of animals. It not only facilitates the exchange of gases but also plays a role in maintaining acid-base balance, acting as a blood reservoir, filtering and probably destroying emboli, metabolizing some bioactive substances, and activating some substances. Any major dysfunction of gas transfer due to disease can lead to respiratory distress or failure..

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