Respiratory organs in birds, respiratory system, respiration

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Respiratory organs of birds


Different kinds of respiratory organs in birds are given below:

Respiratory organs in birds, respiratory system, respiration


Three major respiratory organs in birds  are:

 1. Lung: 

  • Lung is one of the most important respiratory organ in almost all vertebrates and in very few invertebrates too. 
  • Thus in birds too the lung is a major respiratory organ. 
  • Bird's lung is quite different than that of mammal's lung, it does not have alveoli, it's size is also quite small, it is rigid and so it do not expand and contract during inhalation or exhalation. 
  • Though the bird's lung does not have alveoli, they contain millions of small air passages known as parabronchi connected at either ends by dorsobronchi and ventrobronchi. 
  • Movement of air (such as: oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs through these passages i.e., parabronchi is the primary site for gaseous exchange in birds. It delivers oxygen from air into the bird's blood and removes carbon dioxide from their blood. 


2. Posterior air sac:

  • Air sac present at the posterior region of the bird's lung are commonly called as posterior air sac. 
  • They are not rigid like that of the bird's lung and so they performs contraction and relaxation easily. 
  • Their responsibility is to store pure air or the oxygenated air which flows through the bird's lung and reaches their (i.e., within the posterior air sac).


3. Anterior air sac:

  • Air sac present at the anterior region of the bird's lung are commonly called as anterior air sac.
  • Like posterior air sac they are also not rigid and so they can also perform contraction and relaxation easily. 
  • It's role is to perform exhalation, the stored air from posterior air sac flows through the bird's lung into this sac (i.e., the anterior air sac) from where the air is finally exhaled out.


Accessory respiratory organs of birds:

1. Nasal cavity/mouth:

In birds the air (i.e., the oxygen) from external environment enter into the lung through nasal cavity and also in some cases through the mouth. These nasal cavity and mouth are small external opening of their body. 


2. Trachea:

  • Trachea is s long tube which connects the nasal cavity to the lung and this is the only way or medium through which the exchange of gases takes place. 
  • Entry of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from the bird's lung occurs through the same passage (i.e., the trachea). 
  • Like mammals, birds can also produce their own sound thus they also have a vocal organ or voice box for producing sound called syrinx located at the base of a bird's trachea. In mammals larynx in the voice organ. The syrinx enables some species of birds to mimic human speech too, and in some songbirds, the syrinx can produce more than one sound at a time. 
  • Syrinx also creates vibration in the trachea which also facilitates the flow of air through the trachea.  

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