ossicle (plural ossicles)
- (anatomy) A small bone (or bony structure), especially one of the three of the middle ear.
- The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles.
- 1836, William Buckland, Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, vol. 1, William Pickering, p. 174:
- The eyeballs were surrounded by a ring of bones, the sclerotic ossicle, which probably protected their eyes when diving abruptly for prey.
- (zoology) Bone-like joint or plate, especially:
- one of numerous small calcareous structures forming the skeleton of certain echinoderms, as the starfishes;
- one of the hard articuli or joints of the stem or branches of a crinoid or encrinite;
- one of the several small hard chitinous parts or processes of the gastric skeleton of crustaceans, as in the stomach of a lobster or crawfish.
- The skeleton of echinoderms is made of ossicles, linked to each other via muscles and connective tissue.
- ambulacral ossicle
- Andernach's ossicles
- cardiac ossicle
- carpal ossicle
- epactal ossicles
- episternal ossicles
- intercalcar ossicles
- Kerckring's (Kerkring's) ossicle
- marginal ossicles
- ossicle of Bertin
small bone in the ear; auditory ossicle