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The pharynx is the space behind the nasal cavity, oral cavity, and larynx. It is lined with a mucous membrane and has three subdivisions: nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx.

The nasopharynx, the uppermost section, is closely associated with the nasal sinuses. It warms and moistens inhaled air. During swallowing, it is closed by a soft palate to prevent food from entering the nasal area.

The oropharynx is a passage for air and food. It is lined by the tonsils and adenoids.

The laryngopharynx is involved in swallowing.

Van Amerongen, C. The Way Things Work; Book Of The Body. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979.


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