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Ethmoid bone: want to learn more about it?

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Ethmoid bone

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit you will learn how to:

  1. Describe the location of the ethmoid bone.
  2. Identify the ethmoid bone’s major landmarks.
  3. List the 13 bones that articulate with the ethmoid bone.

Watch video

The ethmoid is a small fragile bone located in the midline of the anterior skull. It sits in the anterior cranial fossa, medial to the orbits and slightly superoposterior to the nasal cavity. Due to its position, it contributes to forming the medial orbital walls, the nasal septum, as well as the roof and lateral walls of the nasal cavity. The ethmoid bone is a pneumatized bone, meaning that it is full of air cells (spaces), and has been compared to an ice cube, in size, shape and weight. It is a complex shaped bone with a number of named parts. Learn all about the ethmoid bone in the video below.

Take a quiz

Now that you have watched the video about the ethmoid bone, solidify your knowledge by taking the following quiz.

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Browse atlas


Key points about the ethmoid bone
Location The ethmoid bone is located in the anterior cranial fossa, medial to the orbits and slightly superoposterior to the nasal cavity.
Crista galli, ala of crista galli, cribriform plate of ethmoid bone, perpendicular plate of ethmoid bone, ethmoidal labyrinth, cells of ethmoid bone, orbital plate of ethmoid bone, ethmoid bulla, uncinate process of ethmoid bone, supreme nasal concha, superior nasal concha, middle nasal concha, ethmoidal infundibulum
Articulating bones Frontal, sphenoid, nasals (2), maxillae (2), lacrimals (2), palatines (2), inferior nasal conchae (2) and the vomer.

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Continue your learning

Now that you’re familiar with the ethmoid bone let's look at 2 more individual skull bones, the sphenoid bone and the temporal bone.

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