The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system.
The word "ear" may be used correctly to describe the entire organ or just the visible portion. In most mammals, the visible ear is a flap of tissue that is also called the pinna and is the first of many steps in hearing. In people, the pinna is often called the auricle. Vertebrates have a pair of ears, placed somewhat symmetrically on opposite sides of the head. This arrangement aids in the ability to localize sound sources.
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