Ear, external: There are three sections of the ear. They are the external ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The external ear looks complicated but it is functionally the simplest part of the ear. It consists of the pinna or auricle (the visible projecting portion of the ear), the external acoustic meatus (the outside opening of the ear canal), and the external ear canal that leads to the ear drum. In sum, there is the pinna, the meatus and the canal. The external ear's only function is to concentrate air vibrations onto the ear drum and make the drum vibrate. The external ear is also called the outer ear.
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Last Editorial Review: 7/1/2016