The mandible
The human skull, with the mandible shown in purple at the bottom
Precursor1st pharyngeal arch[1]
Anatomical terms of bone

In anatomy, the mandible, lower jaw or jawbone is the bottom skeleton that makes up the lower (and typically also the more mobile) half of the mouth in jawed vertebrates. In arthropods, the largest pair of appendages of their mouthparts (responsible for biting and cutting food) are also named mandibles.

In human anatomy, the mandible is the largest, strongest and lowest bone in the human facial skeleton.[2] It forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place. The mandible sits beneath the maxilla. It is the only movable bone of the skull (discounting the ossicles of the middle ear),[3] and is connected to the temporal bones by the temporomandibular joints.

The bone is formed in the fetus from a fusion of the left and right mandibular prominences, and the point where these sides join, the mandibular symphysis, is still visible as a faint ridge in the midline. Like other symphyses in the body, this is a midline articulation where the bones are joined by fibrocartilage, but this articulation fuses together in early childhood.[4]

The word mandible derives from the Latin word mandibula 'jawbone' (literally, 'one used for chewing'), from mandere 'to chew' and -bula (instrumental suffix).

  1. ^ hednk-023—Embryo Images at University of North Carolina
  2. ^ Gray's Anatomy – The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, 40th Edition, p. 530
  3. ^ Tortora, G; Derrickson, B (2011). Principles of anatomy & physiology (13th. ed.). Wiley. p. 226. ISBN 9780470646083.
  4. ^ Illustrated Anatomy of the Head and Neck, Fehrenbach and Herring, Elsevier, 2012, p. 59

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