Published online May 28, 2016. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v6.i2.33
Peer-review started: September 17, 2015
First decision: November 27, 2015
Revised: March 4, 2016
Accepted: March 17, 2016
Article in press: March 18, 2016
Published online: May 28, 2016
Core tip: The intricate and elaborate anatomy of the human nose can be best understood by gathering knowledge in evolution and development. Phylogenically and ontogenically, the nose results from two distinct entities: The olfactory and respiratory organ. In vertebrates, the olfactory placodes give rise to the fibrocartilaginous nose made of alar and septolateral cartilages, olfactory mucosa and the olfactory fascia; the respiratory nose develops by evolutionary remodeling of the palatal bones under the olfactory nose. In humans, the mammalian olfactory chambers are transformed into olfactory clefts and lateral masses of the ethmoid, and the transverse lamina separating the olfactory and respiratory noses has disappeared.