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Describe, Compare, And Contrast The Pathway Of Air In Amphibians, Birds, Fish, And Humans.

1360 words - 5 pages

How are they alike, and different? Is one more efficient than another? Gills/Lungs?HumansIn humans air travels into the mouth, or nose, and into the nasal cavity, followed by pharynx. The pharynx is where food and air cross paths. The pharynx increases the chance of choking, but also allows breathing when exercising and respiration though the mouth, if the nose is closed. Next, epiglottis opens allowing air to move into the glottis, and pass the larynx (voice box). After this air makes its way into the trachea which cleans the air with cilia. The cilia move in the trachea and remove viruses, dust, or other unwanted material by trapping it in mucus. The mucus is than moved up the trachea into the pharynx where it is sent to the digestive system. The trachea then leads into two different routes, called the bronchi. The bronchi than branches out into many different passages called the bronchioles. The bronchioles is attached to alveoli which is surrounded by capillaries. The alveoli diffuse oxygen into the capillaries who take it to cells that needs it. Humans breath in with the help of the diaphragm. When the diaphragm drops, the muscles and ribs contract which causes a negative pressure in the lungs and thoracic cavity, causing air to move into the lungs. When the ribs return to their original position, and the muscle and lungs relax, air is forced out of the lungs. As air travels into the nose, and into the lungs, air is moistened, and warmed up by the body.FishCompared to terrestrial animals fish are faced with a challenge during respiration. The challenge is how to get enough oxygen to sustain life. Water contains a fraction of oxygen compared to air. Fish also use 25 percent of their energy just to breath. Fish obtain water and oxygen though their gills. In order to open their gills, fish open their mouth, causing the opercula to close, which forces the gills to open. When the gills are open water is allowed into the respiratory system. When the fish wants to close its gills it will close its mouth, which opens the opercula and closes the gills. On the outside of the gills arches, the gills are composed of filaments that are organized into lamellae. These lamellae have capillaries in them to absorb the oxygen from the water. The direction of the blood is opposite to the direction of the water (this is also called countercurrent). Blood is flowing in the opposite direction so it can absorb most of the oxygen, that is in the water. If the blood were to move with the water an equilibrium point may be reached and only half the oxygen would be absorbed. The countercurrent flow allows the fish to absorb 80 to 90 percent of oxygen in the water.Respiration is similar in both fish and humans in a few ways. First, both humans and fish need moist air. Second, they both have capillaries on a type of air sac that absorbs oxygen by diffusion.There are also many differences in the respiration between a human and a fish. First, humans use lungs, and fish use...

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