Bones of the Human Skull



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The following images will walk you through the different bones of the human skull viewed from various angles. Bones of interest are highlighted in green.

1) The frontal bone is found...well on the front of the skull. So far so good.

Frontal Bone
Frontal Bone

The frontal bone articulates with 12 bones- the parietal bones (2), sphenoid bone, lacrimal bone (2), ethmoid bone, zygomatic bone (2), nasal bone (2) and the maxilla (2).

2) The occipital bone is found on the back (or posterior side) of the skull.

Occiptial Bone
Occipital Bone
Occiptial Bone Superior View
Superior view of the occipital bone. In this view the large opening, the foramen magnum can be seen.

The occiptial bone articulates with 6 bones- the temporal (2), atlas, parietal (2) and sphenoid. This can be remembered with the pneumonic: OX TAPS...OX (occipital) T(temporal)A(atlas)P(parietal)S(sphenoid).

3) The parietal bone is found on the top of the skull. There is a right and left parietal bone which are connected by the sagittal suture.

Parietal Bone
Left Parietal Bone
Parietal Bones
The Left and Right Parietal Bones

4) The zygomatic bone is also known as the cheek bone. There is a right and left zygomatic bone.

Zygomatic Bone
Zygomatic Bone

5) The temporal bone.

Temporal Bone
Temporal Bone
Left Temporal Bone
The Left Temporal Bone, Lateral View

6) The ethmoid bone looks small if only viewing the exterior portion, but it is actually quite large if viewed in isolation or with other bones faded from view.

Ethmoid Bone
Anterior view of the ethmoid bone with other bones faded.
Ethmoid Bone Lateral View
Lateral view of the ethmoid bone with other bones faded.
Ethmoid Bone Superior View
Superior view of the ethmoid bone with other bones faded.

7) The sphenoid bone also looks small if viewing the exterior of the skull but actually occupies a large area of the interior of the skull.

Sphenoid Bone
Sphenoid bone view with other bones faded.
Sphenoid Bone
Sphenoid bone viewed from the left side.
Sphenoid Bone Superior View
Superior view of the sphenoid bone with top of the skull removed.

8) The lacrimal bone is a small bone found next to the nasal bones. There is a right and left lacrimal bone.

Lacrimal Bone
The left lacrimal bone

9) The nasal bone is found on the anterior side of the skull forming the structure of the front of the nose. There is a right and left nasal bone.

Left Nasal Bone
The left nasal bone
Left and Right Nasal Bones
The left and right nasal bones both highlighted in green

10) The inferior nasal concha are found in pairs (left and right).

Inferior Nasal Concha
The left and right inferior nasal concha

11) The palatine bone is found in pairs (left and right).

Palatine Bone
The right palatine

12) The maxilla is found in pairs (a left and right).

Maxilla
The left maxilla

13) The mandible is also known as the jaw bone.

Mandible
The mandible

14) The vomer is a small bone located in the nasal region.

Vomer
The vomer shown with other bones faded.

15) The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck (not technically part of the skull). It does not articulate with any other bones.

Hyoid
Hyoid bone shown with the mandible removed

16) The skull also contains 3 small ear bones that exist in pairs (6 total bones)- the malleus, incus and stapes.