How does reducing the oxygen requirement of an animal by a factor of 10 affect the alveolar radius within the same lung volume?
The oxygen requirement of an animal is directly related to the amount of oxygen it needs to survive and function properly. If this requirement is reduced by a factor of 10, it means that the animal can survive and function with only 1/10th of the oxygen it previously needed. The alveoli in the lungs are responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air and the bloodstream. The larger the surface area of the alveoli, the more efficient this exchange can be. The surface area of the alveoli is directly related to the radius of the alveoli. Therefore, to maintain the same level of oxygen exchange with a reduced oxygen requirement, the alveolar radius can be increased by a factor of 10. This increase in radius will result in a larger surface area of the alveoli, allowing for the same amount of oxygen exchange with a reduced oxygen requirement.