Our bodies need more than just a pair of lungs to effectively breathe. There are many other vital parts involved in the process of breathing, from taking in the oxygen we need to expelling waste carbon dioxide. Without these essential components, we wouldn't be able to survive. Understanding how our bodies work to keep us alive is an important part of staying healthy and happy.

The lungs play a vital role in the exchange of gases in humans and other animals.

What does the lung do?

Your cells require oxygen for respiration, so you need to get it from the air into your bloodstream. You must also expel carbon dioxide from your bloodstream. This exchange of gases takes place inside your lungs. Breathing forces air into and out of your lungs.

The Respiratory System: Lungs
The Respiratory System: Lungs

What is the Thorax?

The lungs are located in the thorax. The thorax is located at the top of your body. A muscle called the diaphragm separates it from the lower part of the body - the abdomen. The lungs are protected by the ribcage and resemble big pink sponges. They are surrounded by pleural membranes.

In order to breathe, air has to pass through the trachea. There are two bronchi, one going to each lung. Each is called 'a bronchus.' It splits into progressively smaller tubes called bronchioles. Eventually, the bronchioles terminate in small bags called alveoli, where gas exchange occurs by diffusion.

Structure of lungs pleura diaphragm and thorax
Structure of lungs pleura diaphragm and thorax
  1. The thorax is located at the upper part of your body.
  2. The diaphragm separates the thorax region from the rest of the body.
  3. The diaphragm serves as an anatomical barrier between the upper and lower body.
  4. The lungs are like large pink sponges, guarded from harm by the ribcage. They're encased in protective pleural membranes as well.
  5. The trachea is a pathway that the air inhaled passes through. It then splits into two bronchi, one tube leading to each lung.
  6. The bronchi branch out into even tinier airways known as bronchioles.
  7. The airways finally terminate in tiny alveoli, which are sac-like structures where gas exchange takes place.
Breathing Functions: Lung and Diaphram
Breathing Functions: Lung and Diaphram

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