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The inner ear is composed of a bony portion (cochlea, vestibule, and three semicircular canals) and a membranous part, which are contained in the petrous portion of the temporal bone (Figure 30.3). During this dissection, only random transverse sections through the superior semicircular canal and the vestibule will be observed. The membranous part is further divided into the cochlear duct and vestibular system (Figure 30.4).The cochlear duct is a coiled structure which has about 2 1/2 turns. In section, it looks like a snail shell. The cochlear duct lies in the bony cochlea anterior and medial to the axis of the internal auditory canal (see Figure 30.3). Sensory cells within the cochlear duct function in the detection of sound.
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