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bones of the middle ear that carry sound vibrations. the ossicles are composed of the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil), and stapes (strrup). the staps conncets to the oval window, which transmits the sound vibrations to the cochlea of the inner ear.

auricle (pinna)

external structure located on both sides of the head; directs sound waves into the external auditory meatus

external auditory meatus (canal)

short tube that ends at the tympanic membrane; the inner part lies within the temporal bone of the skull and contains the glands that secrete earwax (cerumen)

tympanic membrane (eardrum)

semitransparent membrane that separates the external auditory meatus and the middle ear cavity; the tympanic membrane transmits sound vibrations to the ossicles

eustachian tube

connects the middle ear and the pharynx; equalizes air pressure on bothe sides of the eardrum

labyrinth (inner ear)

bony spaces within the temporal bone of the skull; it contains the cochlea, semicircular canals, and vestibule


is snail-shaped and contains the organ of hearing; connects to the oval window in the middle ear

semicircular canals and vestibule

contains receptors and endolymph that help the body maintain its sense of balance (equilibrium)

mastoid bone and cells

located in the skull bone behind the external auditory meatus

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