Old folks have big ears

Old men have big ears, is the consensus of several medical studies. The most celebrated work focused exclusively on men, according with British male doctordom’s smug tradition of showing interest mainly in themselves.

But in Japan and in Germany, wide-ranging investigations have made plain a long-untold half of the story: that old women also have big ears. 

The British action played out in the British Medical Journal, where body parts are always of interest. In 1993, Dr James A Heathcote, a general practitioner in Bromley, Kent, set out to answer the question, “as you get older do your ears get bigger?” …

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

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