Anterior view of the skull
After completing this study unit you will be able to:
- Name the bones that can be seen in an anterior view of the skull.
- Describe the viscerocranium and the neurocranium.
- Identify the relationship between the special sensory organs and the anterior skull.
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.
Download the following PDF worksheets and learn the bones of the skull that are visible from an anterior view.
For more detail on the bony landmarks seen on an anterior view of the skull take a look at this atlas gallery:
|Divisions of the skull||
Viscerocranium: the bones that form the face.
Neurocranium: the bones that house and protect the brain.
|Bones||Frontal bone, nasal bones (2), maxillae (2), lacrimal bones (2), ethmoid bone, zygomatic bones (2), sphenoid bone, parietal bones (2), temporal bones (2), mandible|
Frontonasal suture: Joins frontal and nasal bones
Frontozygomatic suture: Joins frontal and zygomatic bone
Zygomaticomaxillary suture: Joins zygoma and maxilla
Intermaxillary suture: Joins the two maxillae
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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