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In [[reptile]]s, the [[mandible]] is made up of five bones. In the evolution of [[mammal]]s, four of these bones were reduced in size and incorporated into the ear. In their reduced form, they are known as the ''[[malleus]]'' and ''[[incus]]''; along with the more ancient ''[[stapes]]'', they are the ''[[ossicles]]''. This adaptation is advantageous, not only because a one-bone jaw is stronger, but also because the malleus and incus improve hearing. (However, reptiles tend to swallow prey whole because their pace of digestion is different than mammals, so multiple jaw bones may allow flexibility to expand the jaws around prey.)
 
 
==See also==
{{wiktionary}}
*[[Gnathostomata]] - jawed vertebrates
*[[Predentary]]
*[[Premaxilla]]
*[[Rostral bone]]
 
==External links==
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