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5.1: Introduction

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    83995
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    The principal organs of the respiratory system are the two lungs, which are in the right and left sides of the chest (thoracic cavity) and are separated from each other by the heart. Air passes into and out of the lungs through a series of passages and tubes called the upper airways. The flow of air depends on other organs, including the muscular diaphragm and the muscles and bones that make up the wall of the thoracic cavity (Figure 5.1).

    clipboard_ea7d9fe64f1c7a2d31d20f96cab7b72fd.png
    Figure 5.1 The respiratory system and associated structures (Copyright 2020: Augustine G. DiGiovanna, Ph.D., Salisbury University, Maryland. Used with permission.)

    Part of each lung consists of tubes called the lower airways; they end in the microscopic saclike alveoli, which make up most of the lungs. The lower airways transport air to and from the alveoli. Many pulmonary vessels transport blood throughout the lungs.


    This page titled 5.1: Introduction is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Augustine G. DiGiovanna via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.