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Respiration



Polar bear.
Click on image for full size version (80K GIF)
Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Respiration is the name of the process by which heterotrophs convert sugars and oxygen into the biological energy required to run their metabolisms. Carbon dioxide and water are produced as a waste products. The equation is given below.


The reverse of this process, used by autotrophs (self-feeders), is known as photosynthesis . Respiration, unlike photosynthesis, takes advantage of a natural tendency of oxygen to combine with other molecules. Oxygen is very reactive, and when combining with other substances tends to release large amounts of energy. Thus life forms which employ the process of respiration to run their metabolisms are taking advantage of the most chemically efficient and energetic pathway nature provides to produce energy. It also takes advantage of the large amount of excess oxygen which has accumulated in the atmosphere.



Respiration



Polar bear.
Click on image for full size version (80K GIF)
Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Respiration is the name of the process by which heterotrophs convert sugars and oxygen into the biological energy required to run their bodies. Animals "breathe" oxygen and combine these molecules with sugars and carbohydrates within their bodies to provide energy. Sugars and carbohydrates are provided by food from outside sources. Carbon dioxide and water are produced as a waste products.

The reverse of this process, used by autotrophs (self-feeders), is known as photosynthesis . Photosynthesis and respiration are balanced processes in the Earth's biosphere. Autotrophs produce the oxygen which heterotrophs need to survive.



Respiration



Polar bear.
Click on image for full size version (80K GIF)
Image courtesy of Corel Photography

Respiration is the name of the process by which heterotrophs convert sugars and oxygen into the energy required to run their bodies. Animals "breathe" oxygen and "eat" food. Food is converted to carbohydrates inside the body. Then oxygen, sugars and carbohydrates are combined within their bodies to provide energy. Carbon dioxide and water are produced as a waste. The reverse of this process, used by autotrophs (self-feeders), is known as photosynthesis .

It's a good thing that there is so much oxygen in the atmosphere or animal life as we know it would be impossible!





Last modified December 15, 1998 by the Windows Team

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