Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Mammalian evolution

A jaw-dropping ear

A fossil from the Early Cretaceous provides insight into the evolution of the hearing apparatus in mammals. Anchoring the eardrum was, it seems, an essential step in freeing the middle ear from the jaw. See Article p.181

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Middle ears and eardrums in ventral view.

References

  1. Meng, J., Wang, Y. & Li, C. Nature 472, 181–185 (2011).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Martin, T. & Ruf, I. Science 326, 243–244 (2009).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Luo, Z.-X., Chen, P., Li, G. & Chen, M. Nature 446, 288–293 (2007).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Meng, J., Hu, Y., Wang, Y. & Li, C. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 138, 431–448 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ji, Q., Luo, Z.-X., Zhang, X., Yuan, C.-X. & Xu, L. Science 326, 278–281 (2009).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Simpson, G. G. Am. J. Sci. 15, 461–470 (1928).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anne Weil.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Weil, A. A jaw-dropping ear. Nature 472, 174–176 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/472174a

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/472174a

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing