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Anterior view of the skull: want to learn more about it?

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Anterior view of the skull

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will learn how to:

  1. Name the bones that can be seen in an anterior view of the skull.
  2. Describe the viscerocranium and the neurocranium.
  3. Identify the relationship between the special sensory organs and the anterior skull.

Watch videos

The skull is divided into two parts, the viscerocranium and the neurocranium. The viscerocranium simply refers to the bones that form the facial skeleton. The neurocranium refers to the bones that house and protect the brain.

The viscerocranium is made up of 14 irregular bones, which can be seen in an anterior view of the skull. It’s important to note, though, that some anatomists consider the mandible to be a bone of the viscerocranium whilst others do not (classifying it as an extracranial bone instead). These bones provide housing for many of our special senses; our eyes (sight), nose (smell) and our mouth (taste). The facial bones of the anterior skull also provide openings for the intake of food, water and oxygen.

Watch the following video to learn about the bones of the anterior skull.

Learn more about the viscerocranium by watching the video below.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the videos about the anterior skull and viscerocranium, solidify your knowledge by taking the following quiz.

To challenge yourself further, customize your own quiz on a broader array of topics.

Browse atlas

Bones of the anterior view of the skull

For more detail on the bony landmarks seen on an anterior view of the skull take a look at this atlas gallery:

Summary

Key facts about the anterior view of the skull
Divisions of the skull Viscerocranium: the bones that form the face.
Neurocranium:
the bones that house and protect the brain.
Main bones of the anterior skull Frontal bone, nasal bones (2), maxillae (2), lacrimal bones (2), ethmoid bone, zygomatic bones (2), sphenoid bone, parietal bones (2), temporal bones (2), mandible
Anterior skull and the special senses

The bones of the anterior skull house many of our special senses; eyes (sight), nose (smell) and our mouth (taste) and provide openings for the intake of food, water and oxygen.

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Continue your learning

Now that you’re familiar with the anterior skull, you can dive into the lateral, posterior and inferior views.

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