Difference Between Pharynx and Larynx

Primary Difference

The human body is a complicated structure and it needs years to completely grasp everything related to it in order to become a doctor. That is the reason, this field is considered a difficult one and people need to work really hard to become a doctor. For a person who does not have the qualifications of understanding the biology, it becomes difficult to understand various terms which they have heard a lot but don’t exactly know what they mean and what the function of a particular part is. Two such terms are known as Pharynx and Larynx which are an integral part of human body but are very different from each other even though the name suggests otherwise. This article will look at the differences between them. A pharynx is a wide tube which is muscular and is longer in length and can go up to 4-5 inches in most cases. It is present in the area next to the nasal and oral cavities and is used to let the food and other things pass through the human body, it is known as throat in simple words. It is a long area which starts from the mouth and nose and then stretches down towards the esophagus and larynx. It allows the transfer of liquids and solids from mouth or nose to the rest of the body. Larynx, on the other hand, is a hollow organ which too is muscular and is the one which forms the passage for air from the nose of mouth to the lungs and also keeps the voice box safe in the living organisms. Both are present near each other, therefore the confusion between them arises. There are different regions in a pharynx which help in understanding the structure while larynx consists of different layers which help ins producing and understanding the sounds. The larynx is considered as the main part of the respiratory system only while pharynx is deemed to be a part of both respiratory and digestive system. Another difference between them is that pharynx is a set of different regions while larynx is considered as a particular part of human body. There are other ways of showing the difference as well but a brief explanation of both these types will be given in the next two paragraphs while differences, in a nutshell, will be given at the end of this article to clarify how they differ.

Comparison Chart

PharynxLarynx
FunctionIt is the complex name for the throat, which has the main function that it allows food and oxygen to pass from the mouth to other parts of the body.This is the part of human body which is responsible for making sure a human is able to hear things and understand them in a proper manner.
LocationIt is present on top.It is present below it.
LengthIt is longer than the larynx and can be as long as 5 inches in most cases.It is present in a small space.
RolePharynx is deemed to be a part of both respiratory and digestive system.The larynx is considered as the main part of the respiratory system only

Definition of Pharynx

It is the complex name for the throat, which has the main function that it allows food and oxygen to pass from the mouth to other parts of the body. The pharynx is responsible for letting the liquids and solids from one part of the body to the other and it does in a manner that this food is not entered in any other part. This is the main part of both the respiratory system and the digestive system. It is present in the area next to the nasal and oral cavities and is used to let the food and other things pass through the human body, it is known as throat in simple words. The digestive system is explained while in the respiratory system it is responsible for making the oxygen move from the nose to the lungs this results in the human body being able to breathe in an easier manner. The pharynx is longer as compared to other parts of the body and can be as long as 12 cm in most cases though the size differs from human to human. There are three different regions in it which perform different tasks. It connects the nasal flow with trachea and does not deal with any other activity of the human body. There are other names of pharynx too with which it is confused such as throat and esophagus but they are different from each other and perform other tasks.

Definition of Larynx

This is the part of human body which is responsible for making sure a human is able to hear things and understand them in a proper manner. It helps in keeping the voice box intact so that a person does not have to deal with hearing issues. It is present under the pharynx and is considered a proper part of human body. It has different layers and produces sounds and also acts as a blockage of food which is coming from the mouth so that it does not enter the respiratory system through the trachea. It does not have any muscles and consists of cartilages, and also has voice cords and is also present in animals for the same purpose. It helps in producing sound from the lungs which produce pressure and that air is converted into sound with the help of the voice box present. It is not as long as other parts of the body and is present in the small area though it is considered an important organ. It is a hollow organ which too is muscular and is the one which forms the passage for air from the nose of mouth to the lungs and also keeps the voice box safe in the living organisms. The layers help in producing sounds in various pitches so that they can be differentiated from each other easily.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. The larynx is responsible for keeping the voice box in humans and animals together while pharynx is responsible for allowing liquids and solids from the mouth and nose to other body parts.
  2. The pharynx is present on top while larynx is present below it.
  3. The pharynx is longer than the larynx and can be as long as 5 inches in most cases while larynx is present in a small space.
  4. There are different regions in a pharynx which help in understanding the structure while larynx consists of different layers which help ins producing and understanding the sounds.
  5. The larynx is considered as the main part of the respiratory system only while pharynx is deemed to be a part of both respiratory and digestive system.
  6. There are muscles present in the pharynx while there are no muscles in the larynx and it consists of cartilages.

Conclusion

There are several body parts that are inside a human body and animal along with their functions. Pharynx and Larynx are two similar terms which are very different from each other and even though they perform the same task, that thing does not change. This article has covered all the concepts which will help you in understanding it better.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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