The lateral semicircular canal (horizontal semicircular canal ; canalis semicircularis lateralis; external semicircular canal) is the shortest of the three.

It measures from 12 to 15 mm., and its arch is directed horizontally backward and lateralward; thus each semicircular canal stands at right angles to the other two.

Its ampullated end (lateral bony ampulla) corresponds to the upper and lateral angle of the vestibule, just above the fenestra vestibuli, where it opens close to the ampullated end of the superior canal; its opposite end opens at the upper and back part of the vestibule.

The lateral canal of one ear is very nearly in the same plane as that of the other; while the superior canal of one ear is nearly parallel to the posterior canal of the other.


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