The Human Body

Epiglottis

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Epiglottis, thin, lidlike flap of cartilage attached to the base of the tongue of terrestrial vertebrates. The epiglottis is normally pointed upward, but during the passage of solids and liquids from the mouth into the esophagus, the epiglottis is folded down over the glottis, the opening between the vocal cords, to prevent food from passing into the trachea.