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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

what is the difference between anatomy and physiology
MICHAEL Reply
Anatomy means structures and physiology means functions
Aliyu
brain behaviour relation
Sneha Reply
Act as mother of all gland
johnson
What is neurons?
Luqman Reply
a specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses; a nerve cell.
Shain
😊
Luqman
thanks
Luqman
why are cells small
Hajiahamdy Reply
what is the change if take normal water in our body
Algur Reply
What are variations in physiology
John Reply
pls let's talk about d difference between mitosis and meiosis
olatemiju Reply
through remodeling and formation of new bones
Amoako Reply
please what is it
Monica
what is blood pressure
HALLELUYAH
what is blood pressure reading
HALLELUYAH
sketch and label blood vessels
HALLELUYAH
veins is........
KING
draw the male reproductive system
Jeremaih Reply
hello am new here
Pednyin
how life
Jeremaih
join
Hajiahamdy
Explain how different foods can affect metabolism
Abraham Reply
what is Endocrine system?
Islam Reply
which secrete hormones and other products direct into the blood
Aadi
Cell is basic, structural and functional unit of life
Kabuja Reply
The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, and is sometimes called the "building block of life." Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell.
Br_
hi am new here..wish to join you in this conversation
Rachel
welcome Rachel am Brianito
hingi
hey
HALLELUYAH
can some one help
HALLELUYAH
what is the basic function of the lymphatic system
HALLELUYAH
The other main function is that of defense in the immune system. Lymph is very similar to blood plasma: it contains lymphocytes. It also contains waste products and cellular debris together with bacteria and proteins. Associated organs composed of lymphoid tissue are the sites of lymphocyte producti
Adnan
the function of lymphatic system are 1fluid balance 2 lipid absorption and 3 defence
Sidra
destroyed microognism
Usman
lymphatic systems main function is to transport lymph
Colleen
may i know the meaning of infestation of parasite?
Aminiely
Which of the following accurately describe external respirations
Robin Reply
different between anatomy and physiology
Samwel Reply
anatomy is the study of STRUCTURE of the body while physiology is the study of the function of the part of the body
Gborgbor
Anatomy deals with the structure and parts of the body while physiology is the function of the the body parts
Archie
Anatomy is the study which deals with anatomical position while physiology deals with the function
Luqman
not understanding what is a cell
Kesa Reply
its the fundamental unit of life or its the primary step in which two or more cell combine to form a tissue .
Sidra
Is the smallest structural and functional unit of life
Aliyu
cell is the basic you unit of life
Esther

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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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