Overview and Outlook
Modern vertebrates display an immense variety of inner-ear structures and functions. While it is necessary to take the huge structural variety into account, it is also important to attempt to describe some unifying principles underlying the facts and concepts that have emerged from 20 years of research on the anatomy and the electrophysiology of the hearing organs of birds and reptiles, and to suggest which aspects are deserving of our attention in the near future. It is also important to consider the ways in which these comparative studies have modified our concepts of the function of the mammalian hearing organ. I will attempt to do this as concisely as possible in this chapter.
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