We can enjoy music and hear the city traffic because of clusters of specialized cilia (green) in the inner ear, called stereocilia. These actin-rich bundles protrude from the apical surface of hair cells lining the inner ear and vibrate in response to sound waves.
Image: Here, a single bundle of stereocilia projects from the epithelium of the papilla, a sensory patch in amphibian ears. A single sterocilia bundle, false-colored in green, emerges from the apical surface of an inner hair cell. Images were acquired on a Hitachi S-4800.
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