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Viscerocranium

Anatomy of the viscerocranium.

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Hello again! It’s Matt from Kenhub, and in this tutorial we will discuss the viscerocranium. The viscerocranium or splanchnocranium is one of the two areas that make up the skull. It is situated anteriorly to the neurocranium which partly encapsulates it posteriorly both from above and below. The viscerocranium comprises several bones that form the skeleton of the face as well as parts of the jaw.

The nasal bones are a pair of bones that sit at the roof of the face between the right and left halves of the maxilla and create the initial contour of the nose known as the bridge of the nose. The superior part of the nasal bones articulates with the frontal bone.

The maxilla makes up the largest portion of the face and has the many muscles of facial expression attached to it. It is also known as the upper jaw and is involved in the formation of the orbit, nose, and palate. The maxilla housed the upper teeth and plays an important role in mastication.

The zygomatic bone is the bridge between the neurocranium and the viscerocranium. It forms the lateral prominences of the face commonly called the cheekbones where the zygomatic and temporal portions of the zygomatic arch meet each other.

The mandible forms the chin and the jawline contours of the face and allows the person to speak, chew, and open their mouth. To be precise, the mandible is not part of the skull but a separate bone that articulates with it through temporomandibular joint.

The lacrimal bone can be found on the medial wall of the bony orbit. It houses the lacrimal sac and supports the contents of the eye socket.

The ethmoid bone consists of a horizontal and a vertical plate. It is an unpaired bone situated in the ethmoid notch. Parts of the ethmoid bone include a cribriform plate, a perpendicular plate, the crista galli, and the ethmoid labyrinth.

The sphenoid bone has a greater wing and a lesser wing. The greater and lesser wings of the sphenoid bone make up the posterior wall of the bony orbit. They contain all 3 orifices including the optic canal and the superior and inferior orbital fissures.

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