Although the skull is often thought of as a single unit or part of the human body, the reality is that the head is made up of many different bones that make up the skull, whose main function is to protect the encephalon (brain, cerebellum and medulla oblongata). However, many times it would be difficult for us to get to mention all the bones of the head. If you want to know what the bones of the head are, keep reading and we’ll tell you about it.

Why are there so many bones in the head?

The main reason for the presence of so many bones in the head is to protect the brain. Because of this, most of the bones in the head can appear to be a rounded box whose main goal is to isolate the brain from the outside world. However, the brain has to be in constant communication with that outside world, which means that the skull cannot be a uniform and perfectly isolated box.

In fact, if we think about the head, we will realize that, with the exception of the touch that extends throughout the skin, all the other senses are located in it (sight, hearing, smell and taste). This means that the skull has to have certain openings through which the brain can communicate with the different organs that make up the senses, as well as with the rest of the body.

In addition, both the mouth and the nose are entrances to the body that are located in the skull but that have nothing to do with the brain, but with the respiratory and digestive systems respectively. In this way, because we cannot have an airtight skull, it is necessary to treat a fairly complex bone structure that allows communication of the brain with the outside, as well as the performance of other activities necessary for life such as eating and breathe.

The main bones of the head

The main bones of the head are as follows:

Frontal

It is one of the largest bones in the entire head and, as its name indicates, it is the bone that occupies the part corresponding to the forehead, which is why it extends from the upper part of the eye sockets until well into the forehead and the area where the hair begins.

Parietal

This bone is the largest in the head and occupies the top of the head. It extends from the edge of the front and reaches almost to the end of the back of the head.

Occipital

It is the third bone that would complete the basic structure of the head after the frontal and the parietal. It is located at the back of the head, close to the nape. In fact, it extends through the base of the skull, and it is the one that joins the skull with the spinal column.

Temporary

We have two temporal bones, one on each side. It is the bone that is below the ear, and holds the parietal and occipital together.

Sphenoid

This bone is smaller in size than those mentioned so far. It can be understood as a continuation of the temporal that joins this with the frontal and with the front part of the skull, which corresponds to the face.

Zygomatic

It is the continuation of the sphenoid, it joins the frontal bone with the maxilla around the external parts of the eyes.

Nasal

Its name refers to the nose. It is located in the highest part of this and, basically, joins the frontal bone with the maxilla in the upper part of the nose.

Tear

Its name comes from tear, since it is the bone that is located in the inner part of the eye sockets, right where the tear glands are that allow us to cry.

Maxillary

It is the bone that closes the front of the skull at the top of the mouth.

Mandible

It corresponds to the lower part of the mouth, it joins on both sides with the temporal bone and, thanks to its mobility, we can open and close the jaw, which allows us to eat and drink to speak.

Other bones of the head

Although the bones mentioned above are the bones that make up the skull, the truth is that there are other smaller bones that, de facto, are also located in the head. A good example of these bones of the head would be the teeth, which are nothing more than small bones located as extensions of the maxilla and jaw bone and which are responsible for our chewing.

Another example would be the bones of the ear (hammer, anvil and stapes), which are located in the middle ear and which are responsible for the sound vibrations reaching the eardrum to the inner ear.

 

Although the skull is often thought of as a single unit or part of the human body, the reality is that the head is made up of many different bones that make up the skull, whose main function is to protect the encephalon (brain, cerebellum and medulla oblongata). However, many times it would be difficult for us to get to mention all the bones of the head. If you want to know what the bones of the head are, keep reading and we’ll tell you about it.

Why are there so many bones in the head?

The main reason for the presence of so many bones in the head is to protect the brain. Because of this, most of the bones in the head can appear to be a rounded box whose main goal is to isolate the brain from the outside world. However, the brain has to be in constant communication with that outside world, which means that the skull cannot be a uniform and perfectly isolated box.

In fact, if we think about the head, we will realize that, with the exception of the touch that extends throughout the skin, all the other senses are located in it (sight, hearing, smell and taste). This means that the skull has to have certain openings through which the brain can communicate with the different organs that make up the senses, as well as with the rest of the body.

In addition, both the mouth and the nose are entrances to the body that are located in the skull but that have nothing to do with the brain, but with the respiratory and digestive systems respectively. In this way, because we cannot have an airtight skull, it is necessary to treat a fairly complex bone structure that allows communication of the brain with the outside, as well as the performance of other activities necessary for life such as eating and breathe.

The main bones of the head

The main bones of the head are as follows:

Frontal

It is one of the largest bones in the entire head and, as its name indicates, it is the bone that occupies the part corresponding to the forehead, which is why it extends from the upper part of the eye sockets until well into the forehead and the area where the hair begins.

Parietal

This bone is the largest in the head and occupies the top of the head. It extends from the edge of the front and reaches almost to the end of the back of the head.

Occipital

It is the third bone that would complete the basic structure of the head after the frontal and the parietal. It is located at the back of the head, close to the nape. In fact, it extends through the base of the skull, and it is the one that joins the skull with the spinal column.

Temporary

We have two temporal bones, one on each side. It is the bone that is below the ear, and holds the parietal and occipital together.

Sphenoid

This bone is smaller in size than those mentioned so far. It can be understood as a continuation of the temporal that joins this with the frontal and with the front part of the skull, which corresponds to the face.

Zygomatic

It is the continuation of the sphenoid, it joins the frontal bone with the maxilla around the external parts of the eyes.

Nasal

Its name refers to the nose. It is located in the highest part of this and, basically, joins the frontal bone with the maxilla in the upper part of the nose.

Tear

Its name comes from tear, since it is the bone that is located in the inner part of the eye sockets, right where the tear glands are that allow us to cry.

Maxillary

It is the bone that closes the front of the skull at the top of the mouth.

Mandible

It corresponds to the lower part of the mouth, it joins on both sides with the temporal bone and, thanks to its mobility, we can open and close the jaw, which allows us to eat and drink to speak.

Other bones of the head

Although the bones mentioned above are the bones that make up the skull, the truth is that there are other smaller bones that, de facto, are also located in the head. A good example of these bones of the head would be the teeth, which are nothing more than small bones located as extensions of the maxilla and jaw bone and which are responsible for our chewing.

Another example would be the bones of the ear (hammer, anvil and stapes), which are located in the middle ear and which are responsible for the sound vibrations reaching the eardrum to the inner ear.

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