Respiration is carried out by all living things.
Animals need oxygen to carry out aerobic respiration and they need to get rid of the waste product called carbon dioxide. This is called gas exchange. Swapping one gas for another.
Animals have evolved different mechanisms for carrying out gaseous exchange.
The most important thing is to create a large surface area, the bigger the surface area the faster diffusion of the gases can occur. Secondly they all have a good blood supply. You want to get oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out as quickly as possible so the blood travels very close to the exchange surface to once again maximise diffusion.
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