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  Section: General Zoology » Activity of Life
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Respiratory Organs

Internal Fluids and Respiration
Internal Fluid Environment 
Composition of the Body Fluids
Composition of Blood 
  - Hemostasis: Prevention of Blood Loss
  - Open and Closed Circulations
  - Plan of Vertebrate Circulatory Systems
  - Arteries
  - Capillaries
  - Veins
  - Lymphatic System
  - Problems of Aquatic and Aerial Breathing 
  - Respiratory Organs
  - Gas Exchange Through Tubes: Tracheal Systems
  - Lungs
  - Structure and Function of the Mammalian Respiratory System

Respiratory Organs
Gas Exchange by Direct Diffusion
Protozoa, sponges, cnidarians, and many worms respire by direct diffusion of gases between organism and environment. We have noted that this kind of cutaneous respiration is not adequate when the cellular mass exceeds approximately 1 mm in diameter. However, by greatly increasing the surface of the body relative to its mass, many multicellular animals can supply part or all of their oxygen requirements by direct diffusion. Flatworms are an example of this strategy. Cutaneous respiration frequently supplements gill or lung breathing in larger animals such as amphibians and fishes. For example, an eel can exchange 60% of its oxygen and carbon dioxide through its highly vascular skin. During their winter hibernation, frogs and even turtles exchange all their respiratory gases through the skin while submerged in ponds or springs. Lungless salamanders comprise the largest family of salamanders. Some lungless salamanders have larvae with gills, and gills persist in the adults of some, but adults of most species have neither lungs nor gills.


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