Nasal Cavity

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Related to Nasal cavities: pharynx, trachea

nasal cavity

[′nā·zəl ¦kav·əd·ē]
Either of a pair of cavities separated by a septum and located between the nasopharynx and anterior nares.

Nasal Cavity


the cavity in which the olfactory organs of vertebrate animals are located. In terrestrial vertebrates and in man, the nasal cavity is also the initial division of the respiratory tract.

The nasal cavity is unpaired in cyclostomes and paired in fish. In all pulmonate organisms, the paired nasal cavity opens to the outside through external nasal orifices. The nasal and oral cavities are connected by means of choanae in lungfishes, amphibians, the majority of reptiles, and birds. In animals with a hard palate—crocodiles, mammals, and man—the nasal cavity is connected with the nasopharynx; in this case, the posterior section of the nasal cavity extends into the nasopharyngeal canal. In amniotes and man, the anterior section of the nasal cavity is called the vestibule.

In all terrestrial vertebrates the nasal cavity is divided by the maxilloturbinal bone into two sections: the superior nasal meatus and the inferior nasal meatus. In birds and the majority of mammals the superior nasal meatus contains the concha nasalis, or the turbinate bone. In mammals and man the posterior section of the nasal cavity contains the conchae of the ethmoid bone, which are covered by olfactory epithelium. All terrestrial vertebrates have a nasolacrimal canal that connects the eye socket with the nasal cavity; in most of these animals, Jacobson’s organ is formed by an outgrowth of the nasal cavity. In crocodiles, birds, and especially mammals and man, the nasal cavity is connected with the air cavities in the cranial bones.


References in periodicals archive ?
Whereas the experimental studies of wood dust are considered inadequate for evaluation of carcinogenic risk, wood dust is carcinogenic to humans, causing cancer of the nasal cavities and paranasal sinuses (20-22).
Computed tomography of the head and neck revealed soft-tissue mass lesions involving the bilateral nasal cavities and nasopharynx, extending to the oropharynx and involving the larynx and trachea.
He notes that dinosaurs often had extensive nasal cavities jam-packed with intricate networks of large blood vessels.
Sinusitis, an inflammation of the nasal cavities, affects an estimated 30 million Americans.
Finally, effective and efficient rinsing of the nasal cavities can be achieved as recommended by physicians as part of an at-home therapy regimen.
Odorants waft up through the two nasal cavities until they strike a region that contains approximately 50 million olfactory neurons, the cells that bear odorant receptors.
1 Nature, Szibor's group reports that the pollen species found in the skulls' nasal cavities best match those of summer-blooming plants, which implicates the Soviet secret police as the murderers.
After infecting the rats' nasal cavities with the viruses, the scientists identified fluorescently labeled sensory cells and sprayed them with various odorants, one at a time.
The nasal mucosa was hyperemic, and serous secretions were seen in both nasal cavities.