The nature and function of the mammalian epipharynx

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Abstract

The accepted nomenclature of the mammalian pharynx is uncritically based upon purely descriptive accounts of the specialized arrangement of parts in Homo rather than upon basic morphological principles. It violates morphological considerations by its inclusion within the digestive tract of a wholly independent and purely respiratory chamber, the so-called nasopharynx. The evidence afforded by subprimate and primate mammals is reviewed to demonstrate the morphological falsity of the current nomenclature and to indicate the desirability of replacing the meaningless term nasopharynx by the morphologically and descriptively accurate term epipharynx.

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