The picture below of the human ear shows all of the primary features of human otic anatomy (click on the diagram to see a larger view). Most of the names shown are from Latin. For example, the meanings of the names of the three auditory ossicles are as follows: maleus: hammer, incus: anvil, stapes: stirrup. The meaning of cochlea is snail shell, and tympanum is little drum.
The inner, or internal ear consists of the cochlea, which contains the sensory receptors that convert mechanical motion into nerve impulses. The semi-circular canals at the upper end of the cochlea function in maintaining equilibrium and sense of position. The tympanum cavity is also known as the middle ear.
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