The Skull

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  • Created by: LivLots
  • Created on: 06-01-18 16:14

The skull is a bony structure that supports the face and forms a protective cavity for the brain. It is comprised of many bones, formed by intramembranous ossification, which are joined together by sutures (fibrous joints). These joints fuse together in adulthood, thus permitting brain growth during adolescence.

The bones of the skull can be divided into two groups: those of the cranium (which can be subdivided the skullcap known as the calvarium, and the cranial base) and those of the face.

The Cranium

The cranium (also known as the neurocranium), is formed by the superior aspect of the skull. It encloses and protects the brain, meninges and cerebral vasculature.

Anatomically, the cranium can be subdivided into a roof (known as the calvarium), and a base:

  • Calvarium: Comprised of the frontal, occipital and two parietal bones.
  • Cranial base: Comprised of six bones – the frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid, occipital, parietal and temporal bones. These bones are important as they provide an articulation point for the 1st cervical vertebra (atlas), as well as the facial bones and the mandible (jaw bone).

By TeachMeSeries Ltd (2018) Fig 1 - Bones of the calvarium and cranial base. (

Fig 1 – Bones of the calvarium and cranial base.

The Face

The facial skeleton (also known as the viscerocranium) supports the soft tissues of the face. In essence, they determine our facial appearance.

It consists of  14 individual bones, which fuse to house the…


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