Photo Credit: Adapted from Blausen.com staff. "Blausen gallery 2014". Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/).
Smallest Bone in the Human Body
At 3 mm x 2.5 mm, the "stapes" in the middle ear is the smallest named bone in the human body.
The shape of a stirrup, this bone is one of three in the middle ear, collectively known as the ossicles. The ossicles convey sound pressure waves from the outer ear (and ear drum) to the inner ear, where the waves are translated into nerve impulses that go to the brain for identification.
The other two ossicles are the malleus (hammer) and the incus (anvil).
Learn more with these related Science NetLinks resources:
- My Senses Tell Me . . . (K-2)
- Sensational Sound (K-5)
- Science of the Senses (K-12)
- Fossils 1: Fossils and Dinosaurs (3-5)
- Fossils 2: Uncovering the Facts (3-5)
- Zap! (3-8)
- Sound Uncovered App (3-12)
- Bear Bones (6-12)
- Fish Ears (6-12)
- Horse Bones (6-12)
- Skeleton (6-12)
- The Properties of Sound Waves (9-12)