Comparative anatomy, physiology, and function of the upper respiratory tract

Environ Health Perspect. 1990 Apr;85:171-6. doi: 10.1289/ehp.85-1568330.


The anatomical characteristics of the upper respiratory tract of various experimental animals and man are described. There are a number of differences and similarities macroscopically and microscopically between the species. Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of anatomical differences is in the structure of the turbinates. Some of the differences could affect deposition and clearance of particles in the nasal cavities. Effects of compounds in the nasal cavity, larynx, and trachea can differ depending on the cellular composition of the mucosa.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Comparative*
  • Animals
  • Antelopes
  • Cats
  • Cricetinae
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Ferrets
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hominidae
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Larynx / anatomy & histology*
  • Larynx / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nose / anatomy & histology*
  • Nose / physiology
  • Rats
  • Trachea / anatomy & histology*
  • Trachea / physiology