you are here: home > explore > the skull

Neuroscience For Kids

the skull

skull Your 3 pound (1.4 kg) brain needs a home...your skull!

Your brain is protected by several bones. There are eight bones that surround your brain: one frontal bone; two parietal bones, two temporal bones, one occipital bone, one sphenoid bone and one ethmoid bone. These eight bones make up the cranium.

Another 14 bones in the face make up the entire skull. There are also three small bones in each ear. Also protecting your brain are three layers of tissue called the meninges. A few of the bones have been colored in the diagram below.

skull

foramen There is a large opening, called the foramen magnum, located in the back of the occipital bone. This is where the medulla ends and projects out of the skull. Smaller holes in the skull, called foramina, allow nerves and blood vessels to enter and leave the cranium. The picture on the left shows the base of the skull.

The places in the skull where the bones come together are called sutures. These sutures are flexible in young children, but become fixed as they age.

Copyright © 1996-2011, Eric H. Chudler, All Rights Reserved.