The Cranium or Skull

Updated March 11, 2022

The cranium is defined in English as the skull without the mandible, but it is generally accepted in medical terminology to mean the part of the skull encasing the brain. The human skull consists of 22 bones, including eight (8) that are known as cranial bones. The others are called facial bones.

Sagittal secton of the skull. Gray’s Anatomy, 1918. Source

Thirteen (13) facial bones are included in the cranium if using the definition of the skull minus the mandible. The mandible is the lower jawbone, containing the bottom teeth and attaching to the cranium via connective tissue and muscle. It can move freely for speech and chewing.

Gray’s Anatomy plate 190, 1918. Source

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