BiologyLife ProcessesThe Respiratory Tract

The Respiratory Tract

Table of Contents

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    • Respiratory Tract
    • Parts of the Respiratory Tract
      • Nasal Cavity
      • Oral Cavity
      • Pharynx
      • Larynx
      • Trachea
      • Bronchi
      • Lungs
    • Summary
    • What’s Next?

    In the previous segment, we learnt about Respiration. In this segment, we will learn about the respiratory tract.

    What is the Respiratory tract?

    The Respiratory tract is a part of the respiratory system that is responsible for the process of respiration.

    What are the Different parts of the respiratory tract?

    The respiratory tract is divided into many parts like the nasal cavity, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, right and left lungs.

    Nasal cavity/ Nose

    The nasal cavity or nose carries out the process of breathing. The nose hairs are responsible for filtering the air that passes through the nasal cavity. The air is made wet by the mucus present in the nostrils.

    Oral cavity/ Mouth

    The mouth is also responsible for breathing.


    The air we breathe in from the nose or mouth reaches the pharynx. The pharynx splits into oesophagus and larynx.


    The larynx is also known as the voice box as it contains vocal folds or vocal cords that produce the sounds of speech and allows us to modulate our voice. The larynx also has the thyroid cartilage that protrudes out and is known as Adam’s apple.


    The trachea is also known as the windpipe. It has around 16 to 18 C-shaped rings of cartilage embedded into it. The trachea splits into two parts called Bronchi.


    The air from the mouth or nose reaches the lungs through the bronchi. Bronchi further divide into Bronchioles. At the end of the bronchioles, Alveoli are present.

    Alveoli are the tiny bunch of air sacs. They are the site for the Exchange of Gases. The oxygen is transferred from alveoli to the blood and the carbon dioxide is transferred from the blood to alveoli. The carbon dioxide is then exhaled out through the mouth or nose.

    Gas exchange in Alveolus


    Lungs are a pair of spongy, air-filled organs. They are the primary organs of the respiratory system. Human beings have two lungs: the right lung and the left lung.

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