Do Bugs Breathe Like Humans Do?


Believe it or not, bugs do not breathe the same way humans do! While both humans and bugs both need oxygen to survive, the way they breathe is entirely different.  

Humans, belonging to a larger group called mammals, inhale by moving a muscle called the diaphragm. This muscle works with a tube called the trachea that allows oxygen to move into your lungs and then releases carbon dioxide (CO2) as we breathe out.  

A system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates a human’s body process, such as breathing, without any effort from the human. We, however, can override this system. For example, you can hold your breath when you jump into a swimming pool!  

Do Bugs Have Lungs? 

No, bugs do not have lungs. Bugs also do not breathe through their mouths like we do!  

Their respiratory system is made up of a network of tubes called tracheae. Openings, called spiracles,  allow oxygen to flow throughout the bug’s body through the tracheae  

Like humans, bugs can control their breathing to an extent. They can open and close their spiracles by flexing their muscles and adjust the speed that oxygen flows through their body. 

All forms of life on Earth need to have an exchange of gas or respiration to survive. How we do it, though, is what makes us all unique!