Mastoid process muscle attachments Styloid process muscle attachments

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Mastoid process – muscle attachments

Styloid process – muscle attachments (styloglossus, stylohyoid, stylopharyngeus) and attachment for stylomandibular ligament

Petrotympanic fissure – chorda tympani nerve (from facial nerve) exits here on its way to join the lingual nerve (see CN VII notes)

External acoustic meatus – bony portion of “ear canal” leading to tympanic cavity, from which it is separated by tympanic membrane

Postglenoid tubercle – strong, helps prevent posterior dislocation of mandible

Mandibular fossa - condylar head of mandible sits in here

Articular tubercle / eminence

Groove for sigmoid sinus – one of the dural venous sinuses of the brain

Internal acoustic meatus – contains facial nerve on its way to facial canal, vestibulocochlear nerve with its vestibular ganglion, and labyrinthine artery

Petrous ridge – highest point of petrous part of temporal bone, with its groove for the superior petrosal sinus (one of the dural venous sinuses – see veins of brain)

Groove for posterior branch of middle meningeal artery

Stylomastoid foramen – motor part of facial nerve (CNVII) exits from here before reaching the parotid gland where it splits into its branches

Inferior opening of carotid canal – carries internal carotid artery + its sympathetic plexus into middle fossa (see red arrow)

Jugular fossa – makes up part of jugular foramen (other part made up by adjacent part of occipital bone)

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