Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Human Voice Box

Have you ever thought why humans, unlike other animals, cannot breathe and swallow at the same time?

The voice box is situated much lower in the human throat than in other primates to accommodate the larger box which consequently enables us to produce a wider range of sounds and with more resonance. It is because of this unique placement that we cannot breathe and eat simultaneously.

Infants, however, can breathe while breastfeeding since their box doesn’t drop to the lower position until they are about 9 months old, shortly after which babies start uttering their first words.