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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • List and identify the bones of the brain case and face
  • Locate the major suture lines of the skull and name the bones associated with each
  • Locate and define the boundaries of the anterior, middle, and posterior cranial fossae, the temporal fossa, and infratemporal fossa
  • Define the paranasal sinuses and identify the location of each
  • Name the bones that make up the walls of the orbit and identify the openings associated with the orbit
  • Identify the bones and structures that form the nasal septum and nasal conchae, and locate the hyoid bone
  • Identify the bony openings of the skull

The cranium    (skull) is the skeletal structure of the head that supports the face and protects the brain. It is subdivided into the facial bones    and the brain case    , or cranial vault ( [link] ). The facial bones underlie the facial structures, form the nasal cavity, enclose the eyeballs, and support the teeth of the upper and lower jaws. The rounded brain case surrounds and protects the brain and houses the middle and inner ear structures.

In the adult, the skull consists of 22 individual bones, 21 of which are immobile and united into a single unit. The 22nd bone is the mandible    (lower jaw), which is the only moveable bone of the skull.

Parts of the skull

In this image, the lateral view of the human skull is shown and the brain case and facial bones are labeled.
The skull consists of the rounded brain case that houses the brain and the facial bones that form the upper and lower jaws, nose, orbits, and other facial structures.

Watch this video to view a rotating and exploded skull, with color-coded bones. Which bone (yellow) is centrally located and joins with most of the other bones of the skull?

Anterior view of skull

The anterior skull consists of the facial bones and provides the bony support for the eyes and structures of the face. This view of the skull is dominated by the openings of the orbits and the nasal cavity. Also seen are the upper and lower jaws, with their respective teeth ( [link] ).

The orbit    is the bony socket that houses the eyeball and muscles that move the eyeball or open the upper eyelid. The upper margin of the anterior orbit is the supraorbital margin    . Located near the midpoint of the supraorbital margin is a small opening called the supraorbital foramen    . This provides for passage of a sensory nerve to the skin of the forehead. Below the orbit is the infraorbital foramen    , which is the point of emergence for a sensory nerve that supplies the anterior face below the orbit.

Anterior view of skull

This image shows the anterior view (from the front) of the human skull. The major bones on the skull are labeled.
An anterior view of the skull shows the bones that form the forehead, orbits (eye sockets), nasal cavity, nasal septum, and upper and lower jaws.

Inside the nasal area of the skull, the nasal cavity    is divided into halves by the nasal septum    . The upper portion of the nasal septum is formed by the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone    and the lower portion is the vomer bone    . Each side of the nasal cavity is triangular in shape, with a broad inferior space that narrows superiorly. When looking into the nasal cavity from the front of the skull, two bony plates are seen projecting from each lateral wall. The larger of these is the inferior nasal concha    , an independent bone of the skull. Located just above the inferior concha is the middle nasal concha    , which is part of the ethmoid bone. A third bony plate, also part of the ethmoid bone, is the superior nasal concha    . It is much smaller and out of sight, above the middle concha. The superior nasal concha is located just lateral to the perpendicular plate, in the upper nasal cavity.

Questions & Answers

all of the following substance move in in and out of cell except
Mohd Reply
all of the following substance move in and out of cells except
Mohd
Which signaling molecule is most likely responsible for an increase in digestive activity?
Tonya Reply
Hi I think it is DNA
libim
Homeostatasis return to the body to a healthy state after a stressful stimuli by producing
Ofosu Reply
There are some people suffering serious injured what will we do in doing X-ray?
Jefford Reply
observe bone arrangements n associated structures like soft tissues muscles in general the radiographical changes
Terry
epithelial tissue lines blood vessels
Laura Reply
what is difference between anabolism and catabolism in simple language
Chinaza Reply
anabolism simply means building up while catabolism breaking down
Maaruf
building up and breaking down
odeh
explain respiratory centers
Tharshana Reply
which enzyme help in excretion of bile
Sakshi Reply
how conversion of Beta-carotiene into vitamin-A takes place
Sakshi
best reference books for anatomy pls suggest that
Sakshi
what is gross anatomy
Saroj Reply
The study of large structure of the body
Mablean
macroscopic anatomy (Gross anatomy)
odeh
manipulation of structures without aid of microscope due to their size
libim
what is scrotum
Dakshit Reply
a bag of skin near the penis which contains the testicles
Mablean
hi
Sardar
its me Sardar from kpk pakistan
Sardar
Why are you on my digits
Mablean
hi
Kryme
it is part if male organ that hold testis in position it also regulates temperature
libim
how does it work?
Uriah Reply
I want to know the fertilization process in human
Nana Reply
Which plane divides the body into right and left parts
Kaeze
sagittal plane
Irvin
Thank you
Kaeze
Homestatic regulations usually involves a (n) _ that detects a particular stimulus, and a(n) _that respond to the stimulus by communicating with a (n) _whose activity has an effect on the same stimulus.
Kaeze
A cell is producing proteins to be transported out of that cell. They will be processed on ribosomes that are
Kaeze
what are diseases in the bood
Azoyenime Reply
Haemophilia
Aliyu
right hypochondriac rision how meain word
Ganesh Reply
Diabetes insipidus or diabetes mellitus would most likely be indicated by ________.
Ganesh
oral cavity how miean
Ganesh Reply
oral cavity how mean what
Suresh
seems to me every one is here a doctor and worse part is that even they donot know what to ask.
Muhammad
they know what to ask the problem is how to ask it.too much broken english.
George
dear George ongeche I think if they ask these kind questions and telling themselves as HCPs or medical student's .these are the basic ones go ask something more interesting .
Muhammad

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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