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This article is about ossicle. For other uses, see Incus Records.
Bones and muscles in the tympanic cavity in the middle ear
Left incus. A. From within. B. From the front.
Auditory tube, laid open by a cut in its long axis.
Latin Incus
Precursor 1st branchial arch[1]
Articulations Incudomalleolar and incudostapedial joint
Gray's p.1044
MeSH A09.246.397.247.362
TA A15.3.02.038
FMA 52752
Anatomical terms of bone

The incus /ˈɪŋkəs/ is a bone in the middle ear. The anvil-shaped small bone is one of three ossicles in the middle ear. The incus receives vibrations from the malleus, to which it is connected laterally, and transmits these to the stapes, medially. The incus is so-called because of its resemblance to an anvil (Latin: Incus).


See also: Ossicles

The incus is the second of the ossicles, three bones in the middle ear which act to transmit sound. It is shaped like an anvil, and has a long limb and a short limb that protrude from the point of articulation with the malleus.[2]:862


Main article: Hearing

Vibrations in the middle ear are received via the tympanic membrane. The malleus, resting on the membrane, conveys vibrations to the incus. This in turn conveys vibrations to the stapes.[2]:862


Incus means "anvil" in Latin. It was first described by Alessandro Achillini of Bologna. The final part of the long limb, was once described as a "fourth ossicle" by Pieter Paaw in 1615.[3]

Additional images[edit]

See also[edit]

This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.


  1. ^ hednk-023—Embryo Images at University of North Carolina
  2. ^ a b Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students. Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 978-0-8089-2306-0. 
  3. ^ Graboyes, Evan M.; Chole, Richard A.; Hullar, Timothy E. (September 2011). "The Ossicle of Paaw". Otology & Neurotology 32 (7): 1185–1188. doi:10.1097/MAO.0b013e31822a28df. 

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