Principles of Animal Biology - Study Sheets
The Process of Gas ExchangeReturn to the Study Guides Index

The following questions will help you to review the material from the lecture, as well as the text. Make sure to take a look at the links to the images and the web sites at the end of the page. I have also included suggested reading material in case you would like to follow up on any of the aspects covered in this section.

  1. Why is gas exchange a necessity (from a cellular perspective)?
  2. Briefly explain the process of cellular respiration (include the following processes: glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain (ETC) in your answer)! [feel free to read this summary from my Biology 10 class].
  3. Where does the carbon dioxide originate from? Why does it need to be removed from the organism? What will occur if the carbon dioxide accumulates within the organism?
  4. What is the importance of accessing oxygen? What exactly is it used for? What happens if there is no oxygen available?
  5. The term 'respiratory system' is typically used to refer to the system involved in providing gas exchange for the organism. What is the main physical process that is used for the actual movement of the two gases? Can the respiratory system handle this process alone in a larger organism?
  6. Discuss the different strategies of gas exchange in terms of internal and external surfaces. What kind of attributes do these surfaces need to have? Is there a connection with the type of habitat that the animal lives in? Explain!
  7. Why does the surface area of the exchange surface be large as well as moist?
  8. How does the amount of available oxygen vary between aquatic and terrestrial environments?
  9. How does the amount of oxygen vary between creeks/rivers versus stagnant water? Surface water versus water further down in the water column?
  10. What are the major types of gas exchange systems that have evolved in animals?
  11. Describe the use of external surfaces (skin/epithelium) in gas exchange. Describe the actual process of gas exchange. Give several examples of animals that use this method. What is the crucial factor in terms of being able to use this type of gas exchange?
  12. Are animals that use external surfaces for gas exchange restricted to that method? Give examples animals that combine several types of gas exchange.
  13. Explain the concept of gills in animals. Is there a connection between gills and the circulatory systems in animals?
  14. Give examples of several different types of animals with gills?
  15. Make a drawing of fish gills. Label important structures.
  16. Describe the anatomy of gills in fishes (from macroscopic to microscopic levels). What are the main features of gills in a fish?
  17. Explain the concept of the counter-current system as applied to the process of gas exchange in fish gills.
  18. Make a drawing of the tracheal system in an insect. Label important structures.
  19. Describe the process of gas exchange in the tracheal system in the insects. How does the animal control the level of gas exchange?
  20. What is the function of the air sacs found within many insects?
  21. Is there a connection between gas exchange and desiccation in insects? Explain!
  22. Do insects depend on their circulatory system to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide within their bodies? Explain!
  23. Describe the structure of a book lung as found in a spider (use a drawing).
  24. How does the gas exchange process occur in a book lung? Is the circulatory system involved in the process?
  25. In what sense are diving spiders specialized in terms of their gas exchange?
  26. What are the basic characteristics of a lung?
  27. Where does gas exchange occur in a mammalian lung?
  28. How does a bird lung differ from a mammalian lung? Briefly explain the process of gas exchange as it occurs in a bird lung.
  29. Some mammals are amazing divers (e.g. the Weddell Seal). How are these animals able to stay under water for more than an hour?
  30. Make a drawing of a human lung and label important parts in the upper as well as the lower respiratory tract. What are the functions of the different parts?
  31. How is it possible that inhaled air will be clean, humid and warm as it reaches the alveoli of the lungs?
  32. What is the importance of the alveoli?
  33. Explain the process of gas exchange as it occurs between the alveoli and the capillaries in a human lung.
  34. Why are the epithelia of the capillaries and the alveoli so thin?
  35. Describe the structure of lung tissue as viewed in a light microscope.
  36. Explain the process of negative pressure breathing.
  37. What is the difference between positive and negative pressure breathing?
  38. How does a lizard breathe? Does it strategy of breathing interfer with any other aspects of its life?
  39. How does a crocodile produce its negative pressure in its breathing process?
  40. What factors control breathing in a human? Where is the breathing control center located?
  41. How is oxygen transported with in the blood? Describe the variety of proteins used in animals for this purpose!
  42. What is a heme group? What is its function?
  43. Hemoglobin is an amazing protein that has evolved to accommodate the process of gas exchange. Briefly explain some attributes of this protein that makes it such an excellent candidate for gas exchange in the human body.
  44. There are different forms of hemoglobin (e.g. fetal versus adult hemoglobin). Explain!
  45. Do all animals have blood cells? Explain!
  46. How is carbon dioxide transported in the circulatory system? In which chemical form is carbon dioxide transported?
  47. Describe the process of gas exchange as it occurs between a developing human fetus and its mother.




Recommended Reading:
West Valley College
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Page created by: Peter Svensson
Updated: March 28,  2014