Types of Breath

It is the biological process used by all living beings that use gases to acquire energy. Generally, respiration supplies oxygen to the cells and removes the carbon dioxide that is produced inside the cells.

There are different types of respiration depending on how living beings take in oxygen, how it reaches the cells and how the cell acquires energy from that oxygen.

external respiration

It is the exchange of gases between animals and the environment, all animals, from earthworms to mammals, require a method that can provide oxygen for their body to function.

External respiration can have different types depending on the organs involved in capturing oxygen from the environment.

lung breathing

Also known as pulmonary ventilation, it is related to the entry and exit of air through the airways to the lungs. It occurs in all mammalian animals, such as humans and rabbits, in birds, reptiles, and in larger amphibians.

The lungs are the organs where the exchange of oxygen from the air for carbon dioxide that is generated by cellular metabolism is used.

Cutaneous respiration

It is given by the superficial layer that the animal possesses, it would be its skin. This is the method of capturing oxygen from frogs, salamanders, starfish and earthworms.

Earthworms have capillary networks below the integument where gas exchange is generated with the air spaces between soil particles.

tracheal breathing

Tracheal breathing occurs through a network of tubes called the trachea, which open on the surface of the animal, not to be confused with the trachea of ​​the human respiratory system.

This opens to the outside of the body through spiracles, which generally have some closing device to prevent water loss.

gill respiration

It is the way in which the fish take in the diluted oxygen in the water and release the carbon dioxide. This is generated in the gills, a structure that is found in the head of the fish. Also shrimp, lobsters and other crustaceans breathe through their gills.

bimodal breathing

It is the ability of an organism to trade gases together from air or water. A bimodal organism such as salamanders, crabs, barnacles, clams, mussels, and lungfish use gills to breathe water and lungs to breathe air.

internal breathing

It is the exchange of gases that is generated inside organisms. This phase occurs in multicellular organisms and is produced by diffusion of gases through liquids between cells or bound to factor molecules.


Oxygen is acquired through external respiration, it is carried internally bound to organic compounds known as respiratory pigments.

cellular respiration

It is the phase by which cells acquire their energy from organic compounds, such as glucose. Cells require energy to carry out their activities. This energy is stored in a molecule known as ATP or adenosine triphosphate.

aerobic respiration

In this case, oxygen is used to metabolize sugar. The result is water, carbon dioxide and ATP. Animals and plants carry out aerobic respiration in the mitochondria, in prokaryotic cells it is generated in the plasma membrane.

anaerobic respiration

Here the decomposition of sugar is generated without using oxygen, it is effective for beings that live in environments with low oxygen content or when the cell ends its oxygen level and needs ATP quickly.

In humans and animals, glucose is converted to lactic acid. In yeasts and plants, glucose is converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide.

human breath

This response is of the pulmonary type through the respiratory system, which introduces oxygen into the lungs and removes carbon dioxide.

Human internal respiration is supported by the circulatory system and blood. Red blood cells are the cells that transport the oxygen captured in the lungs and expand it throughout all the tissues. Releasing oxygen, red blood cells absorb carbon dioxide to release it in external respiration.

In humans, aerobic cellular respiration prevails, where glucose generates between 36 and 38 ATP molecules in the mitochondria.

respiration in plants

Plants also fall into these categories, acquiring oxygen from the air and releasing carbon dioxide into the environment. Here breathing has been the reverse process of photosynthesis. This allows power to be generated when there is no sun or electricity.

Plant respiration is also essential for acquiring the building blocks of other molecules from glucose. The seeds also acquire their energy by respiration, anaerobic or aerobic depending on the availability of oxygen.

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