Birds possess an ear-muscle which at least acts as a tensor tympani; it arises near the occipital condyle, passes through a hole into the tympanic cavity, and its tendon is, in various ways, attached to the inside of the membrane and the neighbouring extracolumellar processes.
Although the scala tympani is so rudimentary, not reaching a higher level than in most of the reptiles, and remaining far below the mammalia, birds do not only hear extremely well, but they distinguish between and " understand " pitch, notes and melodies.
The membrana tympani or drum of the ear, has, in like manner and on the same principles, the property of repeating the vibrations of the external air which it communicates to the internal parts of the ear.
This latter result is due to paralysis of the chorda tympani nerve, which is mainly responsible for the salivary secretion.
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