3D Ear

Overview > Ossicles > Tympanic Membrane > Tendons > Nerves > Inner Ear

The Middle Ear

The middle ear is a cavity within the temporal bone of the skull. The tympanic membrane (eardrum) separates the external ear (composed of the cartilaginous auricle and external auditory canal) from the middle ear. The major components of the middle ear are the tympanic membrane, the bony ossicles, two muscle tendons (of the stapedius and tensor tympani muscles) and two nerves (the horizontal portion of the facial nerve and a branch of the facial nerve, the chorda tympani).

Inner Ear

The inner ear, also known as the vestibulocochlear organ, can be separated into two main divisions: 1) the cochlea [which is involved in hearing]; and 2) the semicircular canals, the utricle and the saccule [which together compose the vestibular, or balance, system]. The inner ear is located within the petrous portion of the temporal bone. The membranous labyrinth (which forms the structures of the vestibulocochlear organ) is suspended in perilymph within the bony labyrinth.

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