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Korean J Phys Anthropol. 2006 Dec;19(4):255-265. Korean. Original Article.
Kang HJ , Hu KS , Song WC , Kwon HJ , Park DK , Sohn HJ , Koh KS , Han SH , Paik DJ , Chung RH , Kim HJ .
Division in Anatomy & Developmental Biology, Department of Oral Biology, Oral Science Research Center, BK21 Project, College of Dentistry, Yonsei University, Korea.
Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Korea.
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Korea.
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Korea.
Department of Anatomy Catholic institute for Applied Anatomy, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Korea.
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Hanyang University, Korea.
Department of Physical Education, Korean National University of Physical Education, Korea.

The auricle, which has a subtle structure, is an element that conveys signs of age or sex and decides the facial characteristic. The anatomy of the auricle differs in each individual as well as in each race. Therefore, the anatomy of the auricle can be useful for physical anthropologist to classify the race of a person or for a forensic anthropologist to identify the body of dead person. Also, a standard measurement of a normal ear is required for plastic surgeons to reconstruct an ear or artists to express the ear. Studies on the auricle of Caucasians and Koreans have been reported. However, further study on the classification of the location and shape of the auricle is necessary. The authors investigated the metric and non-metric characteristics to obtain basic data that display physical anthropologic features. Seven hundreds and thirty three Koreans under 39 years old and over 18 years old were examined. Metric items investigated were the length of the auricle, width of the auricle, morphological width of the ear, physiognomic ear length, physiognomic ear breadth, morphologic ear breadth, length of the ear cartilage, length of the ear lobule, and the height of the tragus. Non-metric items investigated were the location of the ear, shape of the helix and antihelix, and the attaching shape of the lobule. According to the metric results, all measured values were significantly greater in males than females, and there was a sexual difference except the width of the auricle, length of the ear lobule, and the height of the tragus. In non-metric results of the auricle, cases where the superaurale was located at the upper area of the eyebrow line and cases where the superaurale was between the eyebrow line and the upper eyelid showed similar rates among males. However, in 87.5% of the female group, the superaurale was located between the eyebrow line and the upper eyelid. The major shape of the helix were oval type (32.6%) and quadrilateral type (30.5%) in males, but oval type (32.7%) and triangular type (33.0%) in females. We believe that the data obtained in this study have generated standard measurements for ear reconstruction and can be used as basic data that show physical anthropologic characteristics of the Korean auricle.

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