Larynx and Trachea

The larynx is also known as the voice box and it can easily be found in the throat of mammal specimens (fetal pig shown below.)  The larynx contains the vocal cords that are used for making sounds.  In humans the location of the larynx allows for diverse sounds and eventually language, it also creates a choking hazard.  Food must pass the larynx and go into the esophagus. If the epiglottis is open, food and liquids can enter the trachea and block the airway, or just cause a fit of coughing as your respiratory system tries to clear the obstruction.

The larynx lies in front of the esophagus and is distinguished by the cartilage rings that keep it from collapsing.