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Nose

Nose as a term may be used to designate the leading end of anything. Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares.

In humans and most other mammals, the nose is either central to the face or on the upper tip of the snout. It houses paired nares, or nasal openings, to admit and expel air for respiration. Within and behind the nose are the olfactory organs for sensing smells, and the sinuses. Behind the nasal cavity, air next passes through the pharynx, shared with the digestive system, and then into the rest of the respiratory system.

In cetaceans, the nose has been reduced to the nostrils, which have migrated to the top of the head, producing a more streamlined body shape and the ability to breathe while mostly submerged. Conversely, the elephant's nose has become elaborated into a long, muscular, manipulative organ called the trunk.

Due to the special nature of the blood supply to the human nose and surrounding area, it is possible for retrograde infections from the nasal area to spread to the brain. For this reason, the area from the corners of the mouth to the bridge of the nose, including the nose and maxilla, is known to doctors as the danger triangle of the face.

See also: sneeze, photic sneeze reflex



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