Development of the human external ear

lorieb commented:

In my job in the pathology department of a hospital, I performed mini autopsies on aborted/miscarried fetuses. It always amazed me how anatomically complicated they were. The only thing that seemed out of place was the ears, as they were always lower on the neck than expected. This article explains it well! – lorieb


Human embryo stages

External ear development is a lengthy snd complex precess that extends from early embryogenic life until well into the postnatal period. Initial development of the auricle and external auditory canal during the fourth and fifth weeks of gestation is closely associated with anotomycal changes involving the pharingeal arch apparatus of the human embryo. The auricle and external canal are well formed by the time of birth but do not attaintheir full size and adult configuration until about 9 years of age. Sebaceous and modified apocrine glands, which are responsible for cerumen production, begin their development at about 5 months gestation in association with hair follicles in the outer portion of the external canal. Although they appear anatomically mature before birth, these glands do not reach full fuctional capacity until puberty.

As emphasized throughout this special issue, the external ear plays an essential role in auditory function and occupies an important…

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