from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The hammer-shaped bone that is the outermost of the three small bones in the mammalian middle ear. Also called hammer.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The small hammer-shaped bone of the middle ear.
- n. The tripus (ossicle in cypriniform fishes).
- n. One of the paired calcareous structures within the mastax of rotifers.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The outermost of the three small auditory bones, ossicles; the hammer. It is attached to the tympanic membrane by a long process, the handle or manubrium. See Illust. of far.
- n. One of the hard lateral pieces of the mastax of Rotifera. See Mastax.
- n. A genus of bivalve shells; the hammer shell.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In anatomy, the proximal element of Meckel's cartilage, in any way distinguished from the rest of the mandibular arch.
- n. In ichthyology, one of the Weberian ossicles which form a chain between the air-bladder and the auditory apparatus in the skull of plectospondylous and nematognathous fishes. It is homologous with the hemapophysis of the third one of the coalesced anterior vertebræ.
- n. In rotifers, one of the paired calcareous structures within the pharynx.
- n. [capitalized] In conchology, a genus of pearl-oysters of the family Avieulidæ, founded by Lamarck in 1799; the hammer-shells.
- n. Same as war-hammer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the ossicle attached to the eardrum
The bridge of bones, being pivoted at one point to the walls of the middle ear, forms a lever in which the malleus is the long arm, and the incus and stapes the short arm, their ratio being about that of three to two.
Connected with the malleus is another small bone, called the incus, or anvil, which is connected with another, called the stapes, or stirrup, from its shape.
The peripheral system includes the external ear (auricle and ear canal), the tympanic membrane, or eardrum, the middle ear (three small and connected bones: malleus, incus, and stapes), the oval window boundary, and the inner ear (vestibular system and cochlea).
Examples being variations of hind limb bones in whales, or an intermediate of an ancestral reptilian jaw bone to a mammalian malleus bone transition, et al, just one categorical example.
“The malleus, the incus, and the stapes,” I answered automatically.
My first attempt to decode malleus maleficarum focused on the repeating "mal".
I didn't see "mallet" in malleus and read Bad'n'Badder.
Elephants have three middle ear bones that are enlarged; one, the malleus, is especially enlarged.
The reptilian quadrate bone became the mammalian incus, while the articular bone became the malleus.
So malleus and the incus, or the hammer and the anvil, are actually the quadrate and the articular that used to be in the jaw joint, and now they are hooked up to the stapes here of the ear.