What is the Smallest Bone in the Body?

by admin on June 25, 2008

The smallest bone in the human body is the stirrup bone, the stapes, one of the 3 bones that make up your middle ear; measuring 2-3 millimeters. It shaped like a “U” and is the innermost bone that receives sound vibrations and passes them along to the cochlea to eventually be interpreted by the brain.

Coming it at a close second and third, the other 2 bones in your ear, the anvil (incus) and the hammer (malleus). The malleus is situated right after the tympanic membrane (eardrum); the incus is next, which is connected to the stapes. The stapes is the last portion of the middle that terminates in the oval window, the opening to the cochlea. These bones function to concentrate and intensify the sound vibrations heard from the outer ear, so that when the vibrations reach the cochlea, the fine hairs that line its long tunnel can trigger neurons (brain cells) that send the sound signals to the brain for interpretation.

Sound information is processed in Wernicke’s area in the temporal lobe; the part of your brain that sits nearest your temples. This area contains the memory of words from the past and applies meaning to the abstracts sounds coming from your ear.

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