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Biology LibreTexts

13. 33: Respiratory System Organs

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    Are all noses alike?

    It all starts with the nose. OK, in humans maybe not the nose pictured above, but one similar to the nose below. Though the passage of air is probably similar in cows and humans. Air comes in and then where does it go?

    Organs of the Respiratory System

    The organs of the respiratory system that bring air into the body are divided among the upperrespiratory tract and lower respiratory tract. These organs are shown in Figure below. In addition to the lungs, these organs include the pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchi. Thenasal cavity is also part of the respiratory system. The nose and nasal cavity filter, warm, and moisten the air we inhale. Hairs and mucus produced in the nose trap particles in the air and prevent them from reaching the lungs.

    Respiratory system organs

    The organs of the respiratory system move air into and out of the body.

    • The pharynx is a long tube that is shared with the digestive system. Both food and air travel through the pharynx. 
    • The larynx, or voice box, contains vocal cords, which allow us to produce vocal sounds. Air passes through thin tissues in the larynx, producing sound.
    • The trachea, or wind pipe, is a long tube that leads down to the chest.
    • The trachea divides as it enters the lungs to form the right and left bronchi, which branch into smaller bronchioles within each lung. The bronchioles lead to alveoli, the sites of gas exchange.

    Summary

    • The organs of the respiratory system include the lungs, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi.

    Review

    1. Describe the main organs of the respiratory system.