nounAnatomy & Zoology
1A very small bone, especially one of those in the middle ear.
- Vibrations of the eardrum are then coupled by the middle ear ossicles, the three smallest bones in the body, to the fluid-filled cochlea.
- Sound waves reaching the tympanic membrane will initiate vibrations that are transmitted through the bony ossicles of the middle ear to the oval window.
- The middle ear ossicles and tympanic membrane remained intact, so sound stimulation could be applied to the preparation through a loudspeaker connected to the external ear canal.
1.1 Zoology A small piece of calcified material forming part of the skeleton of an invertebrate animal such as an echinoderm.
- Most such particles are echinoderm stem ossicles, brachiopods, bryozoans or other corals.
- The calcitic ossicles of crinoids, as is typical of echinoderms, form an internal skeleton that provides support and protection.
- Calcareous ossicles make up the internal skeleton.
Late 16th century: from Latin ossiculum, diminutive of os 'bone'.
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