The auditory nerve of birds and mammals exhibits differences and similarities, but given the millions of years since the two classes diverged from a common ancestor, the similarities are much more impressive than the differences. The avian nerve is simpler than that of mammals, but share many fundamental features including principles of development, structure, and physiological properties. Moreover, the available evidence shows that the human auditory nerve follows this same general organizational plan. Equally impressive are reports that homologous genes in worms, flies, and mice exert the same heredity influences in man. The clear implication is that animal studies will produce knowledge that has a direct bearing on the human condition.
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