skull - 1680 x 1050

In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 22 bones. Except for the mandible, all of the bones of the skull are joined together by sutures, rigid articulations permitting very little movement. Eight bones —including one frontal, two parietals, one occipital bone, one sphenoid, two temporals and one ethmoid— form the neurocranium (braincase), a protective vault surrounding the brain. Fourteen bones form the splanchnocranium, the bones supporting the face. Encased within the temporal bones are the six ear ossicles of the middle ears, though these are not part of the skull. The hyoid bone, supporting the tongue, is usually not considered as part of the skull either, as it does not articulate with any other bones. The skull is a protector of the brain.


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