Humans are the only mammals that can’t swallow and breathe at the same time!
The human voice box sits lower than it does in other mammals. It gives us a uniquely large resonating system, which is why we are the only animal able to make the wide range of sounds that create speech.
However, the placement of the voice box also makes us the only mammals that can’t swallow and breathe at the same time. Other animals have no problem swallowing and eating simultaneously. The human voice box doesn’t drop until about 9 months, though, which allows infants to nurse and breathe at the same time still.
The ability to speak and learn language is pretty incredible. Today, we are starting to understand that we quite possibly begin learning language while still in the womb. After only three to five days of being alive, infants born into French speaking families tend to cry with rising intonation that is characteristic of the French language while babies born into German speaking families cry with falling tones, which is characteristic of the German language.