CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the stapes, the stirrup bone, 1 of the 3 tiny bones responsible for conduction of sound waves in the middle ear. The neck of the stapes (top) connects with the incus (the anvil bone) & divides to form the 2 crura, which terminate in the footplate which resides in the oval window of the inner ear. Sound waves enter the ear & cause the eardrum to vibrate: the 3 bones transmit vibrations towards the fluid-filled structures of the inner ear (the stapes' footplate presses into the fluid-filled scala vestibuli of the cochlea, the structure that converts vibrations into nerve impulses. Magnification: X 9 at 35mm size.
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