Difference Between Esophagus And Trachea

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The trachea and oesophagus (or esophagus) are the two tubular structures present in the neck region of the human body. They are located close to each other but completely different in functions. The trachea is the windpipe, whereas the oesophagus is the foodpipe of humans.

Read on to explore the major difference between the trachea and oesophagus.

Oesophagus vs Trachea

The important difference between the oesophagus and trachea are given below:

Trachea Oesophagus
It is a membranous, tube-like structure that extends from the larynx to the bronchial tube
It is part of the alimentary canal that connects the throat and stomach
10 to 11 cm 25 cm
Made of C-shaped semicircular cartilage
Produces wave-like motion to move food
2 parts 3 parts
Also known as
Windpipe Food pipe
Parts name
Thoracic and cervical part
Abdominal, thoracic part, and cervical part
Organ system
Respiratory system Digestive system
Upper airway to lungs Mouth to stomach
Opening is protected by
By epiglottis By two sphincters


Oesophagus, also called esophagus, is the hollow, fibromuscular tube-like structure that connects the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. It measures about 25 centimetres long and runs behind the trachea and heart, through the diaphragm and the uppermost region of the stomach. The oesophagus is about 8 inches long and covered by a mucous membrane. It is a part of the digestive system and is also called the food pipe


The trachea is a wide, hollow, cartilaginous and tube-like structure located in the neck. It is a part of the respiratory system that connects the larynx (voice box )and larynx to the bronchi of the lungs. The trachea is also known as the windpipe and its length ranges between 10 to 11 cm.

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Important Questions on Oesophagus And Trachea

Frequently Asked Questions


How are the oesophagus and trachea separated?

The epiglottis, a flap in the throat separates both the oesophagus and trachea.


Where does the trachea divide?

The trachea also called the windpipe, divides the carina into two main or primary bronchi – the left and the right bronchus.


Can an individual live without the trachea?

No. An individual cannot live without the trachea because it is an important structure within our respiratory system and is involved in the delivery of oxygen gas into our bloodstream.

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