Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Reichurt-Gaupp Theory

  • Michael Khalil
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_984-1



A theory from Karl Bogislaus Reichert and Ernst Gaupp regarding the homology of incus and malleus, with the quadrate and articular, respectively.


Reichert and Gaupp’s theory is credited for their thesis that mammalian middle ossicles are derivatives of the reptilian jaw bones. Despite some opposition to this theory, the contribution to the scientific knowledge is widely accepted.

What the Theory Postulates

This theory was firstly established by Karl Bogislaus Reichert (see Reichert’s cartilage) and then further elaborated by Ernst Gaupp, founder of modern studies in craniogenesis. The theory is regarding the origin of the mammalian ossicles of the ear and the relationship between the reptilian jaw bones and mammalian middle ear bones in 1837 (World Heritage Encyclopedia 2017). Specifically, the theory posits that the malleus and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Hanson, J., Anson, B., & Strickland, E. (1962). Branchial sources of auditory Ossicles in ManI. Literature. Archives of Otolaryngology, 76(2), 100–122.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archotol.1962.00740050106003.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Jarvik, E. (1980). The middle ear. In Basic structure and evolution of vertebrates (Vol. 2, pp. 158–175). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  3. Maier, W., & Ruf, I. (2016). Evolution of the mammalian middle ear: A historical review. Journal of Anatomy, 228(2), 270–283. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joa.12379/full.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Otto, H. (1984). An error in the Reichert-Gaupp theory. A contribution to onto- and phylogenesis f the temporomandibular joint and ear ossicles in mammals. Anatomischer Anzeiger, 155(1–5), 223–238.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Prince, V., & Hunter, M. (2002). Zebrafish hox paralogue group 2 genes function redundantly as selector genes to pattern the second pharyngeal arch. Developmental Biology, 247, 367–389.  https://doi.org/10.1006/dbio.2002.0701.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Rodríguez-Vázquez, J. F., Merida-Velasco, J., Verdugo-Lopez, S., Sánchez-Montesinos, I., & Merida-Velasco, J. (2006). Morphogenesis of the second pharyngeal arch cartilage (Reichert’s cartilage) in human embryos. Journal of Anatomy, 208, 179.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7580.2006.00524.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Takechi, M., & Shigeru, K. (2010). History of studies on mammalian middle ear evolution: A comparative morphological and developmental biology perspective. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution), 314, 1–17.Google Scholar
  8. Westoll, T. S. (1944). New light on the mammalian ear ossicles. Nature, 154(770), 293–330.Google Scholar
  9. World Heritage Encyclopedia. (2017). Reichert–Gaupp theory. Retrieved 6 Nov 2017, from World Public Library Association. http://www.gutenberg.us/articles/reichert%E2%80%93gaupp_theory#Reichert.E2.80.93Gaupp_theory.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Khalil
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus