(2) Conchae. The lateral wall of each chamber has three scroll-like
extensions into the nasal chamber, which help to increase the surface area exposed to
the inflowing air. These scroll-like extensions are known as conchae.
CONCHA =sea shell CONCHA (singular), CONCHAE (plural)
(pronounced KON -kah)
(3) Olfactory epithelium. The sense of smell is because of special nerve
endings located in the upper areas of the nasal chambers. The epithelium containing
the sensory endings is known as the olfactory epithelium.
(4) Paranasal sinuses. There are air "cells" or cavities in the skull known as
paranasal sinuses. The paranasal sinuses are connected with the nasal chambers and
are lined with the same ciliated mucoperiosteum. Thus, these sinuses are extensions of
the nasal chambers into the skull bones. For this reason, they are known as paranasal
c. Pharynx. The pharynx (FAIR-inks) is the common posterior space for the
respiratory and digestive systems.
(1) Nasopharynx. That portion of the pharynx specifically related to the
respiratory system is the nasopharynx. It is the portion of the pharynx above the soft
palate. The two posterior openings (nares) of the nasal chambers lead into the single
space of the nasopharynx. The auditory (eustachian) tubes also open into the
nasopharynx. The auditory tubes connect the nasopharynx with the middle ears (to
equalize the pressure between the outside and inside of the eardrum). Lying in the
upper posterior wall of the nasopharynx are the pharyngeal tonsils (adenoids). The soft
palate floor of the nasopharynx is a trap door that closes off the upper respiratory
passageways during swallowing.
(2) Oropharynx. The portion of the pharynx closely related to the digestive
system is the oropharynx. It is the portion of the pharynx below the soft palate and
above the upper edge of the epiglottis. (The epiglottis is the flap that prevents food from
entering the larynx (discussed below) during swallowing.)
(3) Laryngopharynx. That portion of the pharynx that is common to the
respiratory a digestive systems is the laryngopharynx. It is the portion of the pharynx
below the upper edge of the epiglottis. Thus, the digestive and respiratory systems lead
into it from above, and lead off from it below.
The larynx, also called the Adam's apple or voice box, connects the pharynx with
the trachea. The larynx, located in the anterior neck region, has a box-like shape. See
Figure 1-3 for an illustration. Since the voice box of the male becomes larger and
heavier during puberty, the voice deepens. The adult male's voice box tends to be