Body Factn

There are many openings present in the bones of the skull which act as passages for blood vessels and nerves entering and leaving the cranial cavity. An example is the large opening at the base of the skull called the foramen magnum through which the spinal cord and blood vessels pass to and from the brain.

The eight bones of the skull are as follows:

Name of bone/s


Frontal x 1

Forms the anterior part of the roof of the skull, the forehead and the upper part of the orbits or eye sockets

Parietal x 2

Form the upper sides of the skull and the back of the roof of the skull

Temporal x 2

Form the sides of the skull below the parietal bones and above and around the ears

Sphenoid x 1

Located in front of the temporal bone and serves as a bridge between the cranium and the facial bones

Ethmoid x 1

Forms part of the wall of the orbit, the roof of the nasal cavity and part of the nasal septum

Occipital x 1

Forms the back of the skull

Student activity

Now complete Activity 3.1 in the resources for this book on Dynamic Learning Online.

The bones of the face

There are 14 facial bones in total. These are mainly in pairs, one on either side of the face:

Name of bone/s


Maxilla x 2

Largest bones of the face and they form the upper jaw and support the upper teeth

Mandible x 1

The only moveable bone of the skull and forms the lower jaw and supports the lower teeth. The mandible is the largest and heaviest bone in the skull

Zygomatic x 2

The most prominent of the facial bones and form the cheekbones

Nasal x 2

These small bones form the bridge of the nose

Lacrimal x 2

The smallest of the facial bones, located close to the medial part of the orbital cavity

(Continued )

(Continued )

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