Epitensoric Position of the Chorda Tympani in Anthropoidea: a New Synapomorphic Character, with Remarks on the Fissura Glaseri in Primates

  • Wolfgang Maier
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series book series (VERT)

As is well known from human anatomy, the chorda tympani detaches from the facial nerve before its exit from the stylomastoid foramen; recurving around the hyoid it enters the tympanic cavity via a small foramen in the facial canal (canaliculus chordae tympani). Then, embedded in an epithelial fold, it passes between the crus longum of the incus and the malleus across the tendon of the tensor tympani muscle. Anteriorly, it is situated at the medial side of the anterior process of the malleus (Folianus) before it exits from the tympanic cavity through the petrotympanic fissure or fissura Glaseri (cf. Warwick and Williams, 1973, figure 286; Henson, 1974, figure 21A; and many other textbooks of human anatomy). The anterior process consists in fact of a small dermal bone called the gonial in the German anatomical literature (Gaupp, 1908, 1911, 1913), which is synonymous with the prearticular of vertebrate paleontology and English comparative anatomy (Williston, 1903; De Beer, 1937).


Tree Shrew Tympanic Cavity Fetal Stage Anterior Process Chorda Tympani 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Maier
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl Spezielle ZoologieUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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