SystemSkeletal system
Anatomical terminology

The skull is a bone protective cavity for the brain.[1] The skull is composed of four types of bone i.e., cranial bones, facial bones, ear ossicles and hyoid bone. However two parts are more prominent: the cranium and the mandible.[2] In humans, these two parts are the neurocranium and the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) that includes the mandible as its largest bone. The skull forms the anterior-most portion of the skeleton and is a product of cephalisation—housing the brain, and several sensory structures such as the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.[3] In humans these sensory structures are part of the facial skeleton.

Functions of the skull include protection of the brain, fixing the distance between the eyes to allow stereoscopic vision, and fixing the position of the ears to enable sound localisation of the direction and distance of sounds. In some animals, such as horned ungulates (mammals with hooves), the skull also has a defensive function by providing the mount (on the frontal bone) for the horns.

The English word skull is probably derived from Old Norse skulle,[4] while the Latin word cranium comes from the Greek root κρανίον (kranion). The human skull fully develops two years after birth.The junctions of the skull bones are joined by structures called sutures.

The skull is made up of a number of fused flat bones, and contains many foramina, fossae, processes, and several cavities or sinuses. In zoology there are openings in the skull called fenestrae.

  1. ^ "skull". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015.
  2. ^ Tim D. White, Michael T. Black, Pieter Arend Folkens (21 January 2011). Human Osteology (3rd ed.). Academic Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780080920856.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Cephalization: Biology". Encyclopædia Britannica. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Definition of skull |". Retrieved 6 September 2021.

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