Human Skull – Class 11 | Chapter – 20 | Biology Short Notes Series PDF

Human Skull: The human skull consists of 22 bones (or 29, including the inner ear bones and hyoid bone) which are mostly connected together by ossified joints, so called sutures. The skull is divided into the braincase (neurocranium) and the facial skeleton (viscerocranium). Its main task is the protection of the most important organ in the human body: the brain.


Human Skull Facts

Function Protection of the brain, supporting of the facial structures
Bones Cranial (8): occipital, two temporal, two parietal, sphenoid, ethmoid, frontal
Facial (14): vomer, two nasal conchae, two nasal bones, two maxillae, mandible, two palatine, two zygomatic, two lacrimal
Anterior cranial fossa Content: frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, olfactory bulb, olfactory tract, optic nerve, orbital gyri
Openings: anterior ethmoidal foramen, optic canal, cribriform foramina
Middle cranial fossa Content: trochlear, abducens, oculomotor, ophthalmic, maxillary, mandibular nerves, pituitary gland, internal carotid artery, temporal lobes of the brain
Openings: superior orbital fissure, foramen rotundum, foramen ovale, carotid canal, foramen lacerum, foramen spinosum
Posterior cranial fossa Content: brainstem, facial, vestibulocochlear, glossopharyngeal, vagus, accessory, hypoglossal nerves, internal jugular vein 
Openings: foramen magnum, internal acoustic meatus, jugular foramen, anterior condylar (hypoglossal) canal

Components of Human Skull

The braincase consists of the skullcap (calvarium) and the skull base. The skull cap is made up of the pairs of parietal bones and parts of the frontal bone as well as the occipital bone. The most important sutures in the human skull are:

  • the coronal suture (between the frontal and parietal bone)
  • the sagittal suture (dividing both the parietal bones)
  • the lambdoidal suture (running horizontally between the occipital bone and both parietal bones)


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By Team Learning Mantras