How is the mammalian gaseous exchange system adapted to its functions? - KCSE Biology Essays

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Nasal cavity; has cells that produce mucus; that together with hairs/cilia; trap and propel dust/microbes to the pharynx to be breathed out/swallowed;

Cavity is supplied with capillaries; that warm the air for faster flow in the channels;

Epiglottis; covers the trachea during swallowing; so that particles of food and water may not enter the trachea;

Trachea and bronchi; have cartilage rings; to keep the passages open/prevent them from collapsing; so that air moves in and out freely and continuously; are also lined with mucous membranes which have hairs/ciliated; whose movement/wafting push out dust particles collected in the passages into the pharynx; richly-supplied with blood vessels; to warm the air; for faster flow;

Lungs; have numerous alveoli; to increase the surface area for gaseous exchange;

Alveoli have a thin epithelium; to reduce the distance through which gases diffuse for easier and faster diffusion; alveoli are moist; to dissolve oxygen for faster transport;

Lungs are spongy; because of many air sacs that contain a large amount of/volume of air; Lungs are also supplied with many blood vessels; for transportation of gases; they are also supplied with a network system of trachea, bronchi and bronchioles; to provide an efficient system/large surface area for gaseous exchange; Lungs are enclosed in a pleural membrane; which secrete pleural fluid; that protect the lung surface; lubricate the chest cavity; allowing smooth movement of lungs as they change volumes;

Ribs have intercostal muscles; that moves/contracts and relaxes to allow for inhalation and exhalation; ribs also protect the lungs; has the diaphragm muscles whose contraction and relaxation leads to inhalation and exhalation respectively;


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