The cranial bones are a group of bones within the human head.
There are 8 cranial bones including:
1 x Ethmoid Bone
1 x Frontal Bone
1 x Occipital Bone
2 x Parietal Bones
1 x Sphenoid Bone
2 x Temporal Bones
These cranial bones form the structure of the top, back, and sides of the skull. The structure of the front of the head is formed by the facial bones.
The functions of the cranium include holding in place and protecting the brain in its cavity, which is called the "cranial vault". The cranial bones are relatively flat and plate-like in shape and are positioned together at joints called sutures.
The individual shapes and personalising features of the cranial (and facial) bones contribute much of the definition of the static appearances of the face. This is especially important in some aspects of archeological research because forensic pathologists and biologists can reconstruct the superficial appearance of a face merely from the human skull. The most important cranial bones for the appearance of the face is the frontal bone, which is located at the top of the face above the eye sockets.
See notes about, and labelled diagrams of, all human cranial and facial bones on one page.
More about Bones and the Skeletal System:
This website includes many pages about bones and the skeletal system. The following pages may be of interest. These also link to further pages about related topics such as specific types of fractures, bone diseases and so on.
- Structures and Functions of Bones (an overview about the Skeletal System)
- Types of Bones, such as long bones, short bones, flat bones, etc.
- Bone Markings and Features on Bones of the Human Body
- Types of Joints, such as immoveable, slightly moveable and freely moveable joints
- Diagram of the Human Skeleton
- Overview of types of Conditions and Disorders of the Skeletal System
For further information see also our pages of books about orthopaedics.