Q:

What is the flap in the back of your throat?

A:

Quick Answer

The flap in the back of a human throat is called the palatine uvula, generally referred to as the uvula. It is a small mass that has no known purpose.

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Full Answer

While there are many hypotheses about the purpose of the uvula, including that it may play a functional role in immunology or speech, none of these hypotheses has been conclusively proven. It has been theorized that the uvula may be a phylogenetic remnant from mammals that once drank with the neck bent downward, although macroscopic and microscopic tests on eight different mammals resulted in the uvula being found in only two baboons.

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