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The ears are the internal and external structures responsible for sensing sound in the environment and passing the information to the auditory nerve. They are each made up of several individual structures which are usually divided into three general groups:
- The outer ear; the part which is exposed to the air, which includes the fleshy cartilage on the side of the head and the ear canal which leads to the outer eardrum
- The middle ear, which includes the inner portion of the eardrum and the three small bones which transfer vibration from the eardrum to the inner ear. This structure is connected to the Eustachian tube
- The inner ear, which includes the cochlea and the three inner ear canals, which help regulate balance and movement.