Gas Exchange in the Lungs Flashcards

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What is the primary function of the alveoli in the lungs?

The alveoli are the sites of gas exchange where oxygen diffuses into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide diffuses out of the bloodstream to be expelled.

How are the alveoli adapted to be efficient for gas exchange?

The alveoli have thin walls (one cell thick), a large surface area, a good blood supply, and a moist surface to help gases dissolve for diffusion.

What happens when we breathe in?

Air enters our lungs, and oxygen diffuses from the alveoli into the blood.

What is the role of capillaries surrounding the alveoli?

Capillaries carry red blood cells and facilitate the diffusion of oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out of the blood.

How do fish achieve efficient gas exchange in water?

Fish have gill filaments with a large surface area and thin membranes, and they use countercurrent flow to maximise oxygen diffusion from water to the blood.

Why is the countercurrent flow important in fish gills?

The countercurrent flow ensures that water with the highest oxygen concentration is in contact with blood having the lowest oxygen concentration, maximising oxygen diffusion.

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