The skull

Published on December 31, 2019   49 min
My name is Dr. Barry Berkovitz. I'm Emeritus Reader in the Anatomy Department at King's College London, and my topic is The Skull.
The skull consists of two main parts. The cranium, housing the brain, and the mandible or lower jaw, which can be separated as it is attached to the cranium at the temporomandibular joint. We can further subdivide the cranium into two main parts. The neurocranium, which surrounds the brain, and the face or viscerocranium, which comprises the two tooth bearing bones, the maxilla and the mandible. The skull is comprised of 28 separate bones, of which six are single, and 11 are paired. These include the three ossicles of the ear. The single bones are those that are found in the midline and comprise the ethmoid, the frontal, the sphenoid, the occipital, the vomer in the bony nasal septum, and the mandible, the bone of the lower jaw.
We can use additional words to describe other areas of the skull. We can talk about the cranial vault, which is the upper, dome-like part of the skull, also called the skullcap or calvaria. We have the cranial base, which is the inferior surface of the skull extracranially, and the floor of the cranial cavity, intracranially. We can talk about the facial skeleton, which comprises the face, and includes the orbital cavities and the nasal fossae. Then we have the jaws, the tooth bearing bones, and these are the maxillae in the upper jaw, and the mandible in the lower jaw. Finally, we can talk about the cranial cavity, which is the interior of the skull housing the brain.