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The lungs are the major organs of the respiratory system. Healthy lung tissue looks pink, soft, and spongy. It has significant elasticity and recoil to allow air in and to force it back out again. It is helpful to know a little about the other parts of the respiratory system and how they all work together to understand the anatomy of the lungs.

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1. Upper Airway

Before air enters the lungs, it travels through the upper airway: the nose, pharynx, larynx, and trachea. Lining the nose is a soft, moist layer of cells called mucosa that warms and humidifies the air. The pharynx and larynx form the throat and lead to the trachea or windpipe.

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