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The functions of 11 parts of the ear: pinna, auditory canal, middle ear, eardrum, malleus, incus, stapes, Eustachian tube, semicircle canals, cochlea, and auditory nerve


The visible part of the outer ear. It collects sound and directs it into the outer ear canal

Auditory canal

The tube through which sound travels to the eardrum

Middle ear

A sealed, air-filled cavity which gives the eardrum the ability to move easily


A thin membrane that vibrates when sound waves reach it


A tiny bone that passes vibrations from the eardrum to the incus.


A tiny bone that passes vibrations from the malleus to the stapes


A tiny, U-shaped bone that passes vibrations from the incus to the cochlea; smallest bone in the human body

Eustachian tube

A tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose; it equalizes the pressure between the middle ear and the air outside.

Semicircular canals

Three loops of fluid-filled tubes that are attached to the cochlea in the inner ear. They help us maintain our sense of balance.


A spiral-shaped, fluid-filled inner ear structure; it is lined with cilia (tiny hairs) that move when vibrated and cause an electrical nerve impulse to form

Auditory nerve

Carries electro-chemical signals from the inner ear (the cochlea) to the brain

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