Letter | Published:

The Mammalian Middle Ear

Nature volume 155, pages 114115 (27 January 1945) | Download Citation



IN a recent communication in Nature1, certain implications of new work on the anatomy of the middle ear region of mammal-like reptiles were discussed. Some further aspects of the evolution of the mammalian middle ear are here briefly noticed. A new synthesis, based on palæontological evidence, was recently offered2 to 'explain' the nature of the mammalian tympanic cavity. It was suggested that the primitive reptilian tympanic cavity was, in at least some therapsids, supplemented by a recessus mandibularis related to the region of the notched angular bone; and that the mammalian tympanic membrane was formed from the thin external wall of this recess by extension of the old tympanic membrane.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , Nature, 154, 770 (1944).

  2. 2.

    , Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 131, 393 (1943).

  3. 3.

    , Anat. Hefte, I Abt. (Arb. Anatom. Inst), 35 (Heft 106), 293 (1907); 37 (Heft 113), 591 (1908).

  4. 4.

    , Z. gesamte Anat., III Abt. (Ergebn. Anat. Entw.-Gesch.), 25, 565 (1924).

  5. 5.

    , Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 62, 1 (1931).

  6. 6.

    , and , Phil. Trans., B, 230, 305 (1940).

  7. 7.

    , Geol. Soc. Amer., Spec. Pap., 55 (1944).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Aberdeen. Nov. 24.

    • T. S. WESTOLL


  1. Search for T. S. WESTOLL in:

About this article

Publication history




Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.