what is otolith organ?

Otoconia and otolith are present in the ear of the humans. Their function is to maintain the body balance and sense gravity.

  • Sacculus and Utriculus are otolith organs. Both of these contain supporting cells & hair cells.Tips of hair project into a thick gelatinous, glycoprotein sheet, the otolith membrane.
  • Otolith membrane are embedded with numerous minute, irregular particles called otoconia.They also have known as otoliths or ear stones, composed of calcium carbonate and protein.

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An otolith, (οτο-, oto-, ear + λιθος, lithos, a stone), also called statoconium or otoconium is a structure in the saccule or utricle of the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of vertebrates. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration. Because of their orientation in the head, the utricle is sensitive to a change in horizontal movement, and the saccule gives information about vertical acceleration (such as when in an elevator).

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