Wikijunior:Human Body/Ears

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What does an ear look like?[edit | edit source]

An ear

When looked from the outside, human ears have a roughly oval shape. Several crest like structures, elevations and creases make the surface of the ear look crumpled. In the middle, the auditory canal leads to the middle and inner ear. The middle ear starts with the eardrum, which is connected with the inner ear by tiny bones, called the ossicles. The inner ear, called the cochlea, is a spiral.

What is the function of the ear?[edit | edit source]

The outer ear collects air waves, modifies them by its surface and leads them through the auditory canal to the eardrum. Like with a trampoline, air waves bounce off the eardrum which transmits these movements to the inner ear. The inner ear can separate different pitches of sounds in air waves and gets excited at distinct part each corresponding to a distinct pitch. The inner ear then transmits this information to the brain which makes us experience sounds. The inner ear also has the capabilities to measure body movements which helps us orient with eyes closed or in the dark, and controls our balance.

How does the ear interact with other parts of the body?[edit | edit source]

The inner ear is connected with the brain via the auditory nerve which carries sound and body movement information. That's why you can hear since the ears are connected to the brain.

How can you keep your ears healthy?[edit | edit source]

The ear is a very sensitive organ that can easily be damaged if it is exposed to too high sound levels. There are a few things you can do to keep your ears safe:

  • Do not turn your music up too loud
  • Protect your ears from insects and bugs.