Specializations of the human upper respiratory and upper digestive systems as seen through comparative and developmental anatomy

  title={Specializations of the human upper respiratory and upper digestive systems as seen through comparative and developmental anatomy},
  author={Jeffrey T. Laitman and Joy S. Reidenberg},
The human upper respiratory, or aerodigestive, tract serves as the crossroads of our breathing, swallowing and vocalizing pathways. Accordingly, developmental or evolutionary change in any of these functions will, of necessity, affect the others. Our studies have shown that the position in the neck of the mammalian larynx is a major factor in determining function in this region. Most mammals, such as our closest relatives the nonhuman primates, exhibit a larynx positioned high in the neck. This… 

Chapter 2 Evolution and Development of Human Swallowing

  • Medicine, Biology
  • 2019
This chapter will describe the human swallowing in comparison with other mammals. Besides, the context will focus on swallowing and feeding development in infants. The basic knowledge of how

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Development of the movement of the epiglottis in infant and juvenile pigs.




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Comparative and experimental studies of this region in mammals disparate from humans, and experimental work on the region in rats, is adding new data on how the larynx and skull base may functionally interact, adding new information on the mechanical relationship of the skull base to contiguous areas of the respiratory tract.

Function of the larynx in the fetus and newborn.

There is clearly a need for wider use of techniques involving chronic instrumentation, particularly in the neonatal period, because the upper airway is involved in the regulation of tidal airflow, and it seems vital that the airway remains intact wherever possible.

Fossil Skulls and Hominid Vocal Tracts: New Approaches to Charting the Evolution of Human Speech

The upper respiratory, or vocal, tract is the intersection of the authors' breathing, swallowing and vocalizing pathways and has a key role in determining the physical ability for vocal production.

Postnatal descent of the epiglottis in man. A preliminary report.

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The basicranium of fossil hominids as an indicator of their upper respiratory systems

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The results show that the upper respiratory tract of the odontocetes has evolved away from a basic mammalian pattern, allowing odontoketes to simultaneously swallow and echolocate.