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Mammalian GES

OCR Yr12 Biology A 3.1.2 Mammalian gaseous exchange system

Alveoli Tiny folds of lung epithelium. Increase surface area. Found in clusters at the end of the smallest bronchioles.
Bronchi Branching from trachea, smaller airways leading into each lung. Supported by rings of cartilage which prevent collapse during inspiration.
Diaphragm Layer of muscle beneath the lungs. During inspiration it contracts, flattens and pushes digestive organs downwards. During expiration it relaxes and is pushed upwards by digestive organs.
External intercostal muscles Muscles between ribs. Contract during inspiration raising ribs Relax during expiration, lowering them.
Internal intercostal muscles Can contract during expiration to help push air out more forcefully. During exercise, coughing or sneezing.
Trachea Main airway from back of the mouth to the lungs. Supported by C-shaped rings of cartilage. Prevents collapse during inspiration. Allows flexibility for food to move down the oesophagus.
Bronchioles Much narrower airways leading into the lungs from the bronchi. Larger ones with cartilage, smaller without. Walls are mostly smooth muscle and elastic fibres.
Ventilation The refreshing of air in the lungs to maintain a high oxygen and low carbon dioxide concentration compared with the blood. Process brought about by the action of the intercostal muscles and diaphragm.
Created by: MsPJB