What are the 22 Bones of The Skull?

The skull of the body is made up of 22 bones, along with a plethora of cartilage and ligaments. All of these bones are joined together except for the mandible.

In this article, we will explore more about the 22 bones of the skull.

Skull Bone Anatomy

The skull can be divided into two main parts:

  • Cranial bones (8): These bones form the braincase and protect the brain. They are fused together by sutures, which are immovable joints.
Cranial bones
Cranial bones
  • Facial bones (14): These bones form the face, including the eye sockets, nose, and jaw. They are also connected by sutures, but some are movable joints that allow for facial expressions and chewing.
Facial skeletal bones
Facial skeletal bones

List of Cranial Bones

The cranial bones, also known as the neurocranial bones, are eight bones that form the braincase of the skull. They are responsible for protecting the brain and providing attachment points for muscles. A list of the neurocranial bones is given below:

  • Ethmoid bone (1x): It is located at the bridge of the nose. It contributes to the eye sockets and nasal cavity and contains olfactory receptors for smell.
  • Frontal bone (1x): The bone that forms the forehead and the upper roof of the eye sockets. It also includes parts of the brain involved in thinking, planning, and problem-solving.
  • Occipital bone (1x): It is present at the back of the head. It forms part of the braincase and provides the opening where the spinal cord connects to the brain.
  • Parietal bones (2x): They are the paired bones that form the upper sides and roof of the skull. They are involved in spatial awareness and processing sensory information.
  • Sphenoid bone (1x): It is a butterfly-shaped bone located near the center of the base of the skull. It contributes to the eye sockets, nasal cavity, and base of the braincase.
  • Temporal bones (2x): They are the paired bones located on the sides and lower part of the skull. They house the inner ear structures for hearing and balance and contain the mastoid process, a bony prominence behind the ear.

List of Facial Bones

A list of facial skeletal bones is given below

  • Inferior nasal conchae (2x): These are small, scroll-shaped bones located within the nasal cavity.
  • Lacrimal bones (2x): These tiny, plate-like bones form part of the medial wall of each eye socket.
  • Mandible (1x): The only movable bone in the skull, the mandible forms the lower jaw.
  • Maxillae (2x): These paired bones form the upper jaw and contain the upper teeth.
  • Nasal bones (2x): These thin, flat bones form the bridge of the nose and contribute to the shape of the external nose.
  • Palatine bones (2x): These are the L-shaped bones located behind the maxillae, the palatine bones form part of the roof of the mouth (hard palate) and contribute to the floor of the nasal cavity and the eye sockets.
  • Vomer (1x): It is a flat, triangular bone located in the midline of the nasal cavity, the vomer forms part of the nasal septum, which separates the two nostrils.
  • Zygomatic bones (2x): These paired bones form the cheekbones and contribute to the arch around the eye socket.

Remember: If we include the auditory ossicles i.e. the tiny bones in the middle ear, brings the total number of bones in the skull to 28.

List of Ear Bones (Auditory Ossicles)

A list of bones in the ear is given below

  • Malleus (2x): It is also known as the hammer, connects to the eardrum and receives sound vibrations.
  • Incus (2x): It is also known as the anvil, receives vibrations from the malleus, and transmits them to the stapes.
  • Stapes (2x): It is the smallest bone in the human body.

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