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Bones of cranium

There are eight major bones and eight auxiliary bones of the cranium.

The eight major bones of the cranium are connected by cranial sutures, which are fibrous bands of tissue that resemble seams. The eight major bones of cranium are:

  • Ethmoid bone: a small, rectangular bone inside the cavity of the eye that is located behind the bridge of the nose.
  • Frontal bone: the bone that extends from the forehead to the coronal suture (a suture located at the top of the head that extends from one side to the other) and forms a joint with the parietal bones that allows movement.
  • Occipital bone: the bone that forms the back of the head and connects with the occipital condyles and foramen magnum — skeletal structures located on the underside of the skull, near the spine — and the lambdodial suture, which is at the back of the skull.
  • Parietal bone: the main side of the skull.
  • Sphenoid bone: the bone located under the frontal bone, behind the nose and eye cavities.
  • Temporal bone: the bones that form the inside of the sides of the skull and contain the zygomatic processes (the cheekbone), external auditory meatus (ear canal), styloid process and mastoid process, two points of the temporal bone located behind the ear.

The eight auxiliary bones of cranium are:

  • Zygomatic: the cheekbones
  • Maxillary: adjacent to the nasal bones and forms the top part of the jaw
  • Nasal: form the bridge of the nose
  • Vomer: divides nasal cavity
  • Palatine: the roof of mouth
  • Inferior nasal conchae: the lower bones in nasal cavity
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Bones of cranium

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