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

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

  • 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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