The Skull (Cranium)


he skull, the bony basis for the head, forms the protective casing for the brain, the sensory organs and the basis for the face. Moreover, it is the beginning of the respiratory and digestive tract, so that it is sometimes called the intestinal skull.

With the exception of the movable lower jaw, the bones of the skull in the adult form a solid whole. There are individual skull formations from race and constitution. Various measuring methods are used to differentiate these different forms that describe the ratio of skull width to skull length. Depending upon the calculated size, we speak of long-skull, wide-skull and medium-skull forms.

We also differentiate between the cranium (neurocranium) and the visceral cranium (viscerocranium). The border between these two parts runs in the area of the root of the nose, on the upper edge of the eye sockets to the exterior auditory canals.

The cranium and visceral cranium are made of individual bones, which connect to one another by means of solid bony connections (synostoses), bone sutures or primary cartilaginous joints (synchondroses).

The cranium is broken down into the bony skullcap (calvaria) and the base of the skull (basis cranii), the inner surface of the foundation of the skull consisting of three fossae. The occipital bone (os occipitale), the paired temporal bone (os temporale), the sphenoid bone (os sphenoidale), the frontal bone (os frontale), the paired parietal bone (os parietale) and the ethmoidal bone (os ethmoidale) are part of the cranium.

The paired upper jaw (maxilla) is part of the visceral cranium. The following also are part of it: the palatine bone (os palatinum), the zygomatic bone (os zygomaticum), the paired nasal bone (os nasale), the paired lacrimal bone (os lacrimale), the vomer, the paired lower concha (concha nasalis inferior) and the lower jaw (mandibula) as a independent bone.

The individual bones of the skull.
the individual bones of the skulls

Skull from the side.

skull from the side

Skull from the back.

skull from the rear

Skull from above.

skull from above

Skull from below.

skull from below

CT scan skull from the side.

tomography of the skull (from the side)


Musculature of the skull.

Please click on the image below for a movie on the skull.

Video: animation: the entire skull

Please click on the image below for a 3D view of the skull.