Organs and Functions of the Respiratory System

November 11, 2011 | By | Reply More

Organs and Functions of the Respiratory System

Organs of the respiratory system

  1. Nose / mouth
  2. Nasal cavity
  3. Pharynx
  4. Epiglottis
  5. Larynx
  6. Trachea
  7. Bronchus (bronchi)
  8. Bronchioles
  9. Alveoli
  10. Pleura
  11. Diaphragm
image19 Organs and Functions of the Respiratory System

Functions of the respiratory system

1. Mouth & Nose

  • Brings air into the body
  • Nasal hairs in nostrils trap dust

2. Nasal cavity

  • Warms & moistens air
  • Glands that produce sticky mucus line the nasal cavity

               – traps dust, pollen, and other materials that were not trapped by nasal hairs

               – cilia sweep mucus and trapped material to the back of the throat where it can be swallowed

3. Pharynx

  • Tube-like passageway used by food, liquid, and air
  • At the lower end of the pharynx is a flap of tissue called the epiglottis

            – covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs

4. Larynx

  • “Voice box”
  • The airway to which two pairs of horizontal folds of tissue, called vocal cords, are attached

5. Trachea

  • Air-conducting tube
  • Connects the larynx with the bronchi
  • Lined with mucous membranes and cilia
  • Contains strong cartilage rings

6. Bronchi

  • Two short tubes that branch off the lower end of the trachea
  • Carry air into the lungs.
  • Singular – bronchus

7. Bronchioles

  • Tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs
  • Connect bronchi to alveoli

8. Alveoli

image20 Organs and Functions of the Respiratory System
  • Tiny, thin-walled, grapelike clusters at the end of each bronchiole
  • Surrounded by capillaries
  • Where carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange take place
  • Singular – alveolus


  • Membrane lining the lungs and chest cavity

10. Diaphragm

  • Muscle wall between the chest and the abdomen that the body uses for breathing

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Category: Anatomy, Medical, Physiology

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