The Respiratory System


The pharyngeal regions include the nasopharynx, the oropharynx, and the laryngopharyx.

The nasopharynx lies poterior to the internal nares in the region above the soft palate. Near the posterior edge of the nasal septum, in the roof of the nasopharynx are the paired adenoids. Adenoids are also known as pharyngeal tonsils. They are lymphocyte producing organs, as are the other tonsils. Below the adenoids the openings to the eustachian tubes can be found on the lateral walls of the upper nasopharynx.

The oropharynx is the area of the pharynx you can see when you look into someones throat through the mouth. It lies inferior to the nasopharynx, posterior to the palatoglossal arches, and above the laryngopharynx. The palatine tonsils are those tonsils which lie on the lateral walls of the oropharynx, just behind the palatoglossal arches. Lingual tonsils are embedded in the base of the tongue, which extends into the oropharynx.

The laryngopharynx lies adjacent to the epiglottis and glottis, above the esophagus and below the oropharynx. The glottis is the opening to the larynx. The epiglottis is a plate of cartilage which sets in the front wall of the laryngopharynx. The epiglottis serves to cap the opening to the larynx when swallowing. This is accomplished by raising the larynx upward and pressing it against the cartilage of the epiglottis.


















Overview of Respiratory System

Human Nasal Passages

Human Pharynx Regions

Human Larynx and Trachea

Human Bronchi and Lungs

Muscles of Human Respiration

Lower Respiratory Development

Fish Lungs/Air Bladders

Tetrapod Lungs

Lung Ventilation Systems

Gills of Vertebrate Animals

Things I Should Know