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Question

The figure above shows a model of lungs using a pair of balloons and an elastic membrane attached to a bottle whose wide end has been removed. When the elastic membrane is pulled, the red balloons expand. The elastic membrane represents which part of the respiratory system?


A
Lungs
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B
Rib cage
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C
Rib muscles
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D
Diaphragm
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Solution

The correct option is D Diaphragm
  • The elastic membrane represents the diaphragm. The lungs (represented by the balloons) expand when the diaphragm is pulled down.
  • Pulling of diaphragm down increases the volume of the chest cavity, creating a low pressure. Thus, the outside air rushes into the lungs causing them to expand.
  • The reverse happens when the diaphragm moves upwards towards the lungs. The volume of the chest cavity decreases and the air is pushed out of the lungs.
  • In our body, the rib cage also moves to help us breathe, but this model is simplistic and only shows the diaphragm.

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