The discovery of the epiglottis.

definition

The epiglottis is the lid-like cartilaginous structure overhanging the entrance to the larynx. The muscular action of swallowing closes the opening to the trachea by placing the larynx against the epiglottis. This prevents food and drink from entering the larynx and trachea, directing it instead into the oesophagus[1].

DISCOVERY

The Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle discovered the epiglottis around 350 BCE. His text[2] contains the earliest known mention of the epiglottis with an implication to its function as well. In his text, it says “The windpipe, as we have said, is situated in front, and therefore is interfered with by the food. To deal with this difficulty, Nature has contrived the epiglottis.” Here is an illustration[3] and photograph[4] of the epiglottis above the larynx:

[row]

[col span=”6″ span__sm=”12″]

[ux_image_box img=”1272″ link=”https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/epiglottis” target=”_blank”]

[/ux_image_box]

[/col]
[col span=”6″ span__sm=”12″]

[ux_image_box img=”1274″ image_width=”88″ link=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larynx” target=”_blank”]

[/ux_image_box]

[/col]

[/row]

discoverer

Here is a bust[5] of Aristotle:

[ux_image_box img=”1277″ image_width=”40″ link=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle” target=”_blank”]

384-322 BCE

[/ux_image_box]

sources
  1. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/epiglottis
  2. https://archive.org/details/partsofanimals00aris/mode/ 2up, page 229.
  3. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/epiglottis
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larynx
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *