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Mammalian inner ear form and function (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new paper (in open access) that may be of interest:

Eric G. Ekdale (2015)
Form and function of the mammalian inner ear.
Journal of Anatomy (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/joa.12308

The inner ear of mammals consists of the cochlea, which is involved
with the sense of hearing, and the vestibule and three semicircular
canals, which are involved with the sense of balance. Although
different regions of the inner ear contribute to different functions,
the bony chambers and membranous ducts are morphologically continuous.
The gross anatomy of the cochlea that has been related to auditory
physiologies includes overall size of the structure, including volume
and total spiral length, development of internal cochlear structures,
including the primary and secondary bony laminae, morphology of the
spiral nerve ganglion, and the nature of cochlear coiling, including
total number of turns completed by the cochlear canal and the relative
diameters of the basal and apical turns. The overall sizes, shapes,
and orientations of the semicircular canals are related to sensitivity
to head rotations and possibly locomotor behaviors. Intraspecific
variation, primarily in the shape and orientation of the semicircular
canals, may provide additional clues to help us better understand form
and function of the inner ear.