Breathing vs. Respiration
- Respiration is the process of gaseous exchange in an organism.
- Respiration at a cellular level, however, refers to the burning of food to obtain energy.
- Breathing is the process of taking in oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide by the organism.
- Every organism has their own methods to breath.
- In humans, it is done by the lungs.
- In organisms like fishes, it is done by gills.
Process of respiration
- The oxygen in the lungs is taken up by the blood.
- This oxygen is then transported to all parts of the body.
- Blood gives up oxygen to the cells and takes up carbon dioxide which is sent back to the lungs.
- Diffusion is the process of movement of molecules from the area of its lower concentration to the area of its higher concentration without any application of energy.
- Diffusion is what happens when you put a drop of ink in water and it slowly mixes with the water uniformly.
- The same principle is used for the exchange of gases (breathing) in the animals.
- When the cells obtain oxygen from blood, they use up this oxygen to burn the food.
- Burning of food releases energy which is stored in the form of ATP.
- Thus respiration at the cellular level is burning of food using oxygen to get energy.
Aerobic vs. Anaerobic
The type of respiration in which organisms use oxygen for burning food inside the cell is called aerobic respiration.
Respiration in a cell in the absence of oxygen is called anaerobic respiration.
How Do We Breathe?
Components of the respiratory system in humans
The respiratory system of the humans have several parts; Nasal chamber, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, diaphragm.
The process of respiration in humans
- Respiration in humans starts with the breathing of air through the nose leading to the oxygen to be transferred int the bloodstream by the lungs.
- This oxygen is delivered to all the cells, which uses them to burn glucose and generate energy.
Respiration in other organisms
- Respiration in other organisms is carried out by special organs.
- Frogs and earthworm use their moist skin, fishes use gills and insects have spiracles.
Gaseous exchange in plants
- Gaseous exchange in plants occurs through stomata in leaves and through root hair in roots.
- The woody stems of plants have lenticels too for the exchange of respiratory gases.