The bony labyrinth of the inner ear consists of the cochlea, vestibule, and semi-circular canals. It is important in hearing and equilibrium. In anatomical models and diagrams, it is depicted as a hollow bone nestled inside the temporal bones of the skull. But I'm wondering, is it really a bone nestled within another bone, or is the bony labyrinth actually just a hollowed-out chamber inside the temporal bone? Can someone with expertise shed some light on this? Especially, someone with first hand experience from dissection.