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Respiratory system

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Name the main organs of the respiratory system.
  2. List the main functions of the respiratory system.

Watch videos

The respiratory system works in partnership with our cardiovascular system to supply the body with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. Air is conducted into our lungs by a system of respiratory passageways (the respiratory tract). Gas exchange then occurs, supplying the blood with oxygen and ridding it of carbon dioxide.

The respiratory system has other functions too; it filters, humidifies and warms the incoming air, and it plays an important role in maintaining the acid-base balance of the blood.

Watch the following video to learn about the main organs of the respiratory system.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the respiratory system organs, watch the following video

To improve your understanding of respiratory system terminology, take a closer look at some commonly used roots, prefixes and suffixes related to the respiratory system in the video below.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched our respiratory system videos check your knowledge by taking the following quiz.

To challenge yourself further, customize your own quiz on a broader array of topics.

Download the following PDF worksheets and learn the different parts of the respiratory system.

Browse atlas

For a more detailed view of the respiratory system, including some of the surrounding structures take a look at the atlas gallery below.


Key points about the respiratory system
Main organs of the respiratory system Upper respiratory tract: External nose, nostril, nasal vestibule, nasal cavity, nasal conchae, nasal meatus, pharynx, larynx (superior portion)

Lower respiratory tract:
 Larynx (inferior portion), trachea, right main bronchus, left main bronchus, right lung, left lung, superior lobe of right lung, middle lobe of right lung, inferior lobe of right lung, superior lobe of left lung, inferior lobe of left lung, diaphragm
Functions of the respiratory system Gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide
Filters, humidifies and warms incoming air
Aids in maintaining the acid-base balance of the blood

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