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[Gofriends] Mistake in GO structure?

David Hill dph at
Mon Jan 17 07:40:23 PST 2011

" The process of gaseous exchange between an organism and its 
environment. In plants, microorganisms, and many small animals, air or 
water makes direct contact with the organism's cells or tissue fluids, 
and the processes of diffusion supply the organism with dioxygen (O2) 
and remove carbon dioxide (CO2). In larger animals the efficiency of 
gaseous exchange is improved by specialized respiratory organs, such as 
lungs and gills, which are ventilated by breathing mechanisms.
> "
> This 'definition' says, among others, two things:
> (a) gaseous exchange is gaseous exchange;
No, it says it is a gaseous exchange between an organism and its 
environment. There are other types of gaseous exchange, like the one 
that happens in the cylinder of my car.
> (b) in larger animals (that is?) gaseous exchange is improved by 
> respiratory organs, which a re ventilated by breathing mechanisms.
> From (a), it seems that the author wasn't able to give a clear 
> explanation of what precisely is meant by 'gaseous exchange'.  From 
> (b), it seems that ventilation by breathing improves gas exchange, 
> from which it is very hard to me to draw the conclusion that breathing 
> *is* respiratory gas exchange.
The second part of the definition explains why in larger organisms, 
simple diffusion does not suffice.


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