Pharynx

The pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity, and above the oesophagus and trachea (the tubes going down to the stomach and the lungs). It is found in vertebrates and invertebrates, though its structure varies across species. The pharynx carries food and air to the esophagus and larynx respectively. The flap of cartilage called the epiglottis stops food from entering the larynx.

Pharynx
Head and inner neck
Pharynx
Details
Part ofThroat
SystemRespiratory system, digestive system
Arterypharyngeal branches of ascending pharyngeal artery, ascending palatine, descending palatine, pharyngeal branches of inferior thyroid
Veinpharyngeal plexus
Nervepharyngeal plexus of vagus nerve, maxillary nerve, mandibular nerve
Identifiers
Latinpharynx
Greekφάρυγξ (phárynx)
MeSHD010614
TA98A05.3.01.001
TA22855
FMA46688
Anatomical terminology

In humans, the pharynx is part of the digestive system and the conducting zone of the respiratory system. (The conducting zone—which also includes the nostrils of the nose, the larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles—filters, warms and moistens air and conducts it into the lungs).[1] The human pharynx is conventionally divided into three sections: the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. It is also important in vocalization.

In humans, two sets of pharyngeal muscles form the pharynx and determine the shape of its lumen. They are arranged as an inner layer of longitudinal muscles and an outer circular layer.