Human Structure II – Head & Neck Skull Structures Neurocranium



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Human Structure II – Head & Neck
Skull Structures - Neurocranium
External Structures – normal text Internal Structures – bold, underline, italic
Sutural (Wormian) bones can located along any suture, but are inconsistent from skull to skull, person to person.
Frontal superciliary arch ethmoidal foramen (ant / post) supraorbital notch / foramen

metopic suture (child) frontoparietal / coronal suture bregma (fontanelle)

nasion glabella frontal sinus (air)

frontal crest superior sagittal sinus groove / sulcus foveolae granulares
Parietal parietal emissary foramen interparietal / sagittal suture parieto occipital / lambdoidal suture

lambda pterion temporal lines



superior sagittal sinus groove / sulcus foveolae granulares middle meningeal artery/vein groove

Occipital squamous part nuchal lines (sup / inf) external occipital protuberance

inion foramen magnum occipital condyle

condylar canal / foramen basilar part spheno-occipital synostosis or synchondrosis

clivus hypoglossal canal / foramen transverse sinus groove / sulcus

internal occipital protuberance superior sagittal sinus groove / sulcus
Temporal mastoid process mastoid notch mastoid emissary foramen / canal

stylomastoid foramen styloid process squamous part

zygomatic process mandibular fossa articular tubercle

articular eminence squamosal suture temporal fossa

carotid canal foramen lacerum pharyngeotympanic tube

external acoustic meatus asterion jugular foramen

petrotympanic fissure middle meningeal artery/vein groove petrous part

malleus / hammer incus / anvil stapes / stirrup

sigmoid sinus groove /sulcus internal acoustic meatus greater petrosal nerve groove/foramen petrosal sinus grooves (sup/inf) jugular fossa lesser petrosal nerve groove/foramen tympanic canniculus mastoid air cells facial canal
Sphenoid body greater wing optic canal

superior orbital fissure inferior orbital fissure sphenoid spine infratemporal fossa pterygoid plates (med/lat) hamulus pterygoid canal pterygoid fossa pterygomaxillary fissure pterygopalatine fossa scaphoid fossa sella turcica hypophyseal fossa dorsum sellae tuberculum sellae



clinoid processes (ant/post) chiasmatic sulcus sphenoid air sinus

clivus foramen rotundum foramen ovale

foramen spinosum lesser wing
Ethmoid body cribriform plate cribriform foramen

crista galli foramen cecum ethmoid air cells

nasal conchae (sup/middle) perpendicular plate
Skull Structures - Viscerocranium
Maxilla alveolar part incisive canal / foramen dental arch maxillary teeth 2 incisor / 1 canine (cuspid) / 2 pre-molar (bicuspid) / 3 molar teeth

alveolar processes posterior superior alveolar foramen canine eminence

zygomatic process palatine process body maxillary tuberosity infraorbital groove/canal/foramen nasolacrimal canal

anterior nasal spine piriform aperture intermaxillary suture maxillary air sinus


Mandible body alveolar part dental arch mandibular teeth 2 incisor / 1 canine (cuspid) / 2 pre-molar (bicuspid) / 3 molar teeth

alveolar processes angle mental foramen

mental protuberance mental spines mylohyoid line

digastric fossa submandibular fossa ramus

mandibular condyle/head/neck coronoid process pterygoid fovea

mandibular notch mandibular foramen/canal lingual mylohyoid groove



Palatine perpendicular plate sphenopalatine foramen horizontal plate

palatine foramen (great/less) posterior nasal spine interpalatine suture

maxillopalatine suture interpalatine suture palatovaginal canal
Vomer ala perpendicular plate posterior nasal choana
Zygomatic frontal/temporal/maxillary processes body zygomatic arch

zygomaticofacial foramen zygomaticoorbital foramen zygomaticotemporal foramen


Nasal Lacrimal Inferior Nasal Conchae

These last three are NOT bone, but instead are just locations with many openings for nerves, arteries and veins



Anterior cranial fossa Middle cranial fossa Posterior cranial fossa




Purpose of Bony Passages
Most structures running through bony passages are named for those passages,

but understanding where those structures come from is important.


Below is a list of passages that transmit more than their similarly named vessels and nerves

Optic canal (sphenoid bone) Superior orbital fissure (sphenoid bone)

optic nerve (CN II) oculomotor nerve (CNIII)

ophthalmic artery trochlear nerve (CN IV)

frontal, lacrimal, and nasociliary branches of ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve (V1)

abducens nerve (CN VI)

ophthalmic veins



Inferior orbital fissure Mandibular foramen (mandible)

zygomatic and infraorbi­tal branches of maxillary nerve (V2) inferior alveolar nerve (CN V3) and vessels

infraorbital vessels

emissary vein



Pterygomaxillary fissure (sphenoid)

maxillary artery



Sphenopalatine foramen (palatine)

posterior lateral nasal nerve (V2)

posterior nasal septal nerve (V2) Stylomastoid Foramen (temporal)

sphenopalatine vessels facial nerve (CN VII)



Incisive foramen (maxillary) Foramen rotundum (sphenoid)

nasopalatine nerve (V2) and vessels maxillary division of trigeminal nerve (V2)



Foramen ovale (sphenoid) Foramen spinosum (sphenoid)

mandibular division of trigeminal nerve (V3) middle meningeal vessels

lesser petrosal nerve

emissary veins


Foramen magnum (occipital)

Jugular foramen medulla oblongata

sigmoid sinus / internal jugular vein spinal accessory nerve (CN XI entry)

inferior petrosal sinus / internal jugular vein vertebral arteries

glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX) vertebral venous plexus

vagus nerve (CN X) anterior/posterior spinal arteries

spinal accessory nerve (CN XI exit) pia, arachnoid and meningeal dura



Foramen lacerum Pterygoid canal (sphenoid)

emissary veins Vidian nerve

autonomics for internal carotid artery artery of pterygoid canal

Palatovaginal canal (palatine) Petrotympanic fissure (temporal)

pharyngeal nerve (CN V2)and vessels chorda tympani (CN VII)



Facial Canal (temporal) Cribriform plate (ethmoid)

greater petrosal nerve olfactory nerves (CN I)

ethmoid (ant/post) nerves (CN V1)
Internal acoustic meatus (temporal)

facial nerve (CN VII) Foramen cecum (ethmoid)



vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) emissary veins

labyrinthine artery


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