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CLASS OF 2010-2011!!!

11.- THE EARS

Did you hear something? Maybe the sound you heard was as quiet as your cat licking her paws. Or maybe it was loud, like a siren going by. Sounds are everywhere, and you have two cool parts on your body that let you hear them all: your ears!

ear diagramYour ears are in charge of collecting sounds, processing them, and sending sound signals to your brain. And that’s not all — your ears also help you keep your balance. So if you bend over to pick up your cat, you won’t fall down — or even worse — fall on your cat. Meow!

The ear is made up of three different sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. These parts all work together so you can hear and process sounds.

The Outer Ear: Catch the Wave

The outer ear is called the pinna or auricle (say: or-ih-kul). This is the part of the ear that people can see. It’s what people pierce to wear earrings and what your friend whispers into when it’s time for a secret. The main job of the outer ear is to collect sounds, whether they’re your friend’s whispers or a barking dog.

The outer ear also includes the ear canal, where wax is produced. Earwax is that gunky stuff that protects the canal. Earwax contains chemicals that fight off infections that could hurt the skin inside the ear canal. It also collects dirt to help keep the ear canal clean. So earwax isn’t just gross. It’s gross and useful.

More information.

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