The job of the respiratory system is the exchange of gases between the body and the outside air. This process, called respiration, actually consists of two parts. In the first part, oxygen in the air is drawn into the body and carbon dioxide is released from the body through the respiratory tract. In the second part, the circulatory system delivers the oxygen to body cells and picks up carbon dioxide from the cells in return.
Respiratory System: The organ system that brings oxygen into the body and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Respiration: The exchange of gases between the body and the outside air.
Lung: Main organ of the respiratory system.
Pharynx: Contains passageways for both food and air.
Epiglottis: Covers the opening to the air passage when food is swallowed.
Larynx: Contains the vocal cords. Also called the voice box.
Trachea: Long tube that leads down to the chest. Also called a windpipe.
Bronchus (plural, bronchi): One of two tubes that connects the lungs with the trachea.
Bronchiole: Small air passage that branches from the bronchi.
Alveolus (plural, alveoli): Tiny air sacs in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
Ventilation: The process of moving air in and out of the lungs.
Inhalation: The process of taking air into the lungs.
Expiration: The process of releasing air from the lungs.
Diaphragm: Muscle that is attached to the lower ribs and is the main muscle in respiration.
The respiratory system is responsible for respiration.
The rate of breathing must be regulated in order to maintain the proper concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood and thus also to maintain the proper blood pH.
Inhalation and exhalation result from the contraction of the diaphragm.
Breathing and respiration are not the same! Breathing is the physical process of bringing oxygen into the lungs (as well as expelling carbon dioxide), while respiration is the process of bringing oxygen to the cells.