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The Middle Ear

The middle ear includes:

  • eardrum
  • cavity (also called the tympanic cavity)
  • ossicles (3 tiny bones that are attached)
    • malleus (or hammer) long handle attached to the eardrum
    • incus (or anvil) the bridge bone between the malleus and the stapes
    • stapes (or stirrup) the footplate; the smallest bone in the body


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Sound entering the outer ear travels through the middle ear and causes the eardrum and ossicles in the middle ear to vibrate. As it travels, it amplifies (becomes louder) and changes from air to liquid.


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