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Bones of the skull

Learning objectives 

After completing this study unit you will be able to:

  1. Locate and identify the two main parts of the skull.
  2. Learn about the location and relations of the individual bones of the skull.

Watch video

The human skull consists of 22 bones (or 29, including the inner ear bones and hyoid bone) that are mostly connected together by fibrous joints, so-called sutures.

The two main parts of the skull are the braincase (neurocranium) and the facial skeleton (viscerocranium). Its primary function is the protection of the brain. The mandible and the hyoid bone are technically not considered as part of the cranium and thus are sometimes referred to as extracranial bones.

This video tutorial will provide you with an overview of the bones of the skull.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the bones of the skull, solidify your knowledge by taking our quiz.

If you want to get a broader overview and choose the topics you’ll get quizzed on, try out our customizable quiz.

Browse atlas

Now you can analyze each bone of the skull with the atlas gallery below.


Key points about the bones of the skull
Parts of the skull Neurocranium (braincase) and viscerocranium (facial skeleton)
Neurocranium Frontal bone, ethmoid bone, sphenoid bone, parietal bones, temporal bones, occipital bone
Viscerocranium Nasal bones, zygomatic bones, maxilla, lacrimal bones, palatine bones, inferior nasal concha, vomer
Extracranial bones Mandible, hyoid bone, auditory ossicles (malleus, incus, stapes)
Function Protection of the brain

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