What are the differences between the left and right lungs? Hop right on down to learn about our left and right lungs. Impress your family, friends, teachers, or colleagues with these fun facts. Learning about them will take your breath away. 😉
True or False? The left lung is smaller than the right lung.
True! Our left lung is indeed smaller than the right lung. Because our heart is mostly on the left side of our midline, our left lung accommodates for our heart with a cardiac notch, which is basically a lateral deflection of the lung to give more space for the heart.
True or False? Despite different sizes, the left lung and right lung have similar shapes.
False. The left and right lungs actually are shaped slightly differently. The right lung is broader in shape compared to the left lung because the heart is located mostly on our left side; thus, our left lung cannot be as broad in shape. Although the left lung is not broad, the left lung is longer than the right one. This is because our liver sits right underneath the right side of our diaphragm, so our right lung cannot be so long to interfere with the liver. On the other hand, the left lung does not have the massive liver underneath. The diaphragm thus extends slightly lower and deeper, allowing a longer left lung to exist.
Summary Comparison of Size and Shape Between Left and Right Lung
Right Lung is Larger > Left Lung
Right Lung is Broader > Left Lung
Right Lung is Heavier > Left Lung
Right Lung is Shorter < Left Lung
Left Lung is Longer > Right Lung
True or False? The right lung has three lobes, while the left lung has two lobes.
True. The right lung does have 3 lobes, and the left lung has 2! Lobes are sections in which our two human lungs are divided into. As we mentioned earlier, our right lung is broader and bigger than the left lung, so it logically makes sense that the right has one more lobe or section than the left lung has.
Right Lung = 3 Lobes (Upper, Middle, and Lower Lobe
Left Lung = 2 Lobes (Upper and Lower Lobe)
True or False? The left lung has an oblique fissure, while the right lung has both an oblique fissure AND horizontal fissure.
True. That is correct. As we can see in the diagram below, the right lung has an additional fissure that runs almost horizontally, separating the upper and middle lobe of the right lung. This fissure is thus known as the horizontal fissure
Right Lung= 2 Fissures = Oblique and Horizontal Fissure
Left Lung = 1 Fissures = Oblique Fissure
Bronchopulmonary segments are independent respiratory units within the lung that are supplied with their own tertiary segmental bronchus and arterial branch.
True or False? The left lung and right lung have equal number of bronchopulmonary segements.
False. The right lung has more bronchopulmonary segments than the left lung. Specifically, the right lung has 10, and the left lung has 8 segments. To remember this more easily, we can always go back and remember that the right lung is broader, heavier, and larger than the left lung. The right lung thus has more lobes, fissures, and bronchopulmonary segments than the left lung!
Right Lung = 10 Bronchopulmonary segements
Left Lung = 8 Bronchopulmonary segments
Despite their differences, the right and left lung operate well together. After all, they belung together. Get it? Belung? 😉
Check out our other Related respiratory system lessons!
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