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Bony Labyrinth; Clue To Ancient Human Dispersal

Our ears are in charge of collecting sounds around us, processing them and passing the sound signals to our brain. It does not end just there, the ears help you to walk straight too without losing your balance. Made of three different sections, the outer, the middle and the inner ear together process all the sounds that we hear.

It is a well established fact that the very first humans emerged in Africa. However, there is a constant research to find the point at which the human dispersal started and how the human moved to different parts of the Earth. This story of dispersal is constantly getting rewritten. During the last one year research shows that the early humans moved out multiple times however, the details are limited to the DNA that has been found of our ancient ancestors. A very recent study reveals that the one of the body part that was often overlooked now sheds light on the ancient human movement. That part is the “bony Labyrinth” of the inner ear. The maze like structure of the vestibule, semicircular canal and the cochlea that looks like a pretzel is known as the “bony labyrinth’. It has been found that this structure differs slightly from person to person but tends to look similar amongst people who share the same genetics. This morphological similarity could help us find how far the humans migrated from Africa; given the fact that initially all the bony labyrinths looked similar or were similar as they all had the same genes.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena



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