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Which is the largest bone in the middle ear?
A. Incus
B. Malleus
E. Stapes
F. Cochlea

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: The ear consists of 3 parts: external ear, middle ear, and inner ear. In addition, the external ear and inner ear have no bones as such whereas the middle ear consists of 3 bones: the malleus, incus, and stapes.

Step by step answer:
Ear can be distinguished further into 3 parts: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The external organ called the auricle or pinna and the ear canal (auditory canal) forms the outer ear. The auditory canal terminates, with the tympanic membrane (eardrum) in the inner side of the ear. The function of the outer ear is to collect the external sound waves and transmit them to a tympanic membrane. The middle part of the ear comprises three bones and a narrow cavity filled with air in the temporal bone called a tympanic cavity. Malleus, incus, and stapes are the three bones present in the middle ear. These bones are collectively known as auditory ossicles. They are the smallest bone found in the human body. Malleus is attached to the tympanic membrane and also articulates with the incus. It is the largest of all the three bones as it connects the external ear to the middle ear. The inner ear consists of two parts: a bony labyrinth consisting of the vestibule, semicircular canals, cochlea, and a membranous labyrinth which consists of the utricle, saccule, semicircular ducts, and cochlear ducts. The Oval window is responsible for the communication between the vestibular and tympanic membrane. The cavity spaces of the membranous labyrinth are filled with a fluid called endolymph. It is responsible for maintaining pressure and balance inside the ear. The malleus is the bone that connects the tympanic membrane to the middle ear and is one of the largest bones among the auditory ossicles.
Hence option B is the correct answer.

Note: The order of auditory ossicles from outside to inner side is the malleus, incus, and stapes. These three bones collectively form a bridge-like structure and are connected to the oval window. The Oval window guides the entrance to the inner ear cochlea. A condition called otosclerosis in the middle ear mainly affects the stapes and causes gradual hearing loss. Usually found in people age 15-35 years.