The larynx is the "voice box" and it not only produces sound for speech but also separates the flow of air to the lungs from the flow of foods and liquids that go down the esophagus. The thyroid cartilage is the largest cartilage of the larynx and it is easily seen from the anterior aspect. The thyroid cartilage is inferior to the hyoid bone. Behind the thyroid cartilage is the epiglottis which is the only laryngeal structure made of elastic cartilage. Inferior to the thyroid cartilage is the cricoid cartilage and it is the inferior border of the larynx. The cricothyroid ligament joins these anterior structures together. Above the cricoid cartilage are the paired arytenoid cartilages. These attach to the vocal folds and tighten them, causing the voice to increase in pitch. Superior to the arytenoid cartilages are the corniculate cartilages that are shaped like small horns. The glottis is the opening into the larynx and the epiglottis is the flap that folds over the glottis during swallowing.
In the midsagittal section of the larynx you can see that the cricoid cartilage is larger on the posterior aspect. The thyroid cartilage is prominent on the anterior side, the arytenoid and corniculate cartilages are prominent on the posterior side, along with the cricoid cartilage, the epiglottis, and the vocal folds. The vestibular fold (false vocal cord) is superior and is found on the lateral wall of the larynx. Below this is the vocal cord (vocal fold) that produces sound. The conus elasticus consists of elastic tissue and connects the vocal folds to the cartilages. Below the larynx is the trachea which leads from the larynx to the lungs. Label and color the structures of the larynx and label and color in the trachea.
Answer Key: a. Epiglottis, b. Hyoid bone, c. Thyroid cartilage, d. Corniculate cartilage, e. Vestibular fold, f. Vocal fold, g. Arytenoid cartilage, h. Conus elasticus, i. Cricothyroid ligament, j. Cricoid cartilage, k. Trachea, I. Glottis kaplan.. _ »« «
The trachea connects to the larynx superiorly and ends interiorly in a keel-shaped structure called the carina. The trachea is composed of the tracheal rings which are hyaline cartilage. The posterior surface of the trachea has smooth muscle called the trachealis muscle that allows for the food in the esophagus to bulge into the trachea. The trachea branches into the right primary bronchus and the left primary bronchus which form part of the lungs.
Answer Key: a. Trachea, b. Right primary bronchus, c. Tracheal ring, d. Left primary bronchus, e. Carina, f. Trachealis muscle
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.