Just like human beings, animals also breathe. Breathing is the process of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Few organisms have lungs in their chest cavity which helps them to breathe. The organisms like earthworms and a few unicellular organisms have no specialized organs for breathing and breathe through the body surface. Let us have a brief insight into the breathing in other animals.
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Breathing in Lower Organisms
The lower organisms breathe through the cell membrane by the diffusion of gases. All the minute organisms like amoeba and paramecium have no specialized organ for breathing. So, the gases are diffused by the cell membrane. Hydra breathes through the moist surface of the body.
Also Read: Mechanism of Breathing
Breathing in Earthworms
The earthworms breathe through their skin. This is known as the cutaneous mode of respiration. They secrete slimy secretions on the skin which keeps it moist. This makes their body permeable to gases.
Also Read: Morphology And Anatomy of Earthworm
Breathing in Insects
The body of the insects is covered with holes called spiracles. The oxygen enters these holes and reaches the trachea which helps them to circulate throughout the body. The carbon dioxide is carried by the trachea and expelled out through the spiracles.
Also Read: Morphology and Anatomy of Cockroach
Breathing in Frogs
A frog lives both on land and in water. Therefore, it exhibits different modes of breathing during different stages of its life cycle. It exhibits three different respiration modes:
The skin of the adult frogs is moist and slimy which helps them to respire in water and on land. On land, the exchange of gases in the adult frogs takes place through the lungs. The larval stages of frogs live in water and breathe through gills.
Also Read: Morphology And Anatomy of Frogs
How Do Organisms Breathe Underwater?
Some entities live in water and are called aquatic animals. They have special features which enable them to breathe in water. Like all other animals, aquatic animals need oxygen to breathe. They obtain oxygen dissolved in the water. Lungs are good for terrestrial organisms, but for purely aquatic organisms, they are not very useful.
Breathing in Fish, Whales and Dolphins
Fish are aquatic organisms. They have special organs called gills that help in breathing. Gills are feathery organs projected out of the skin, richly supplied with blood vessels and are covered with gill slits. The fish takes water through the mouth and forces carbon dioxide out of the gills. During this process, the oxygen is absorbed and diffused into the blood vessels and is transported to different cells of the body.
However, organisms like whales and dolphins swim to the water surface to breathe since they are mammals just like humans. They are warm-blooded animals and give birth to younger ones as opposed to laying eggs. Dolphins and whales have blowholes at the top of its head through which they breathe
The rate of breathing in water is more than that on land. This is because the amount of oxygen present in water is less when compared to that outside. Therefore, higher breathing rate helps them to take more oxygen.
This is how different animals breathe and have the breathing organs modified according to the habitat they live in.
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