cranium


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skull

skull, the skeletal structure of the head, composed of the facial and cranial bones. The skull houses and protects the brain and most of the chief sense organs; i.e., the eyes, ears, nose, and tongue. Among humans, some 14 bones shape the face, most occurring in symmetrical pairs. They are the lacrimals at the inner sides of the eyes, the nasals and nasal conchae of the nose, the palatines (palate), the zygomatics, or malars at the cheeks, the vomer (nasal septum), and the maxillae, or upper jaw. The mandible, or lower jaw, is not technically part of the skull. The adult human cranium, or braincase, is formed of fused skull bones: the parietals, temporals, ethmoid, sphenoid, frontal, and occipital. These are separate plates of bone in the fetus, but by birth they have generally grown sufficiently for most of their edges to meet. The remaining separations are known as fontanels, the most prominent being the soft spot atop a newborn's head. By the age of two years, all of these fontanels have been closed over by the growing cranial bones. However, the seams, or sutures, between the bones do not completely knit until the age of 20. The occipital bone at the base of the skull forms a complex joint with the first vertebra of the neck, known as the atlas, permitting rotation and bending of the head (see spinal column). Study of the fossil skulls of humans and their precursors has made important contributions to evolutionary theory, and to the science of physical anthropology. Earlier skulls of human ancestors, for instance, have been shown to have markedly smaller cranial capacities, as well as more powerful jaws, than do the Homo sapiens species which exist today.

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cranium

[′krā·nē·əm]
(anatomy)
That portion of the skull enclosing the brain. Also known as braincase.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cranium

1. the skull of a vertebrate
2. the part of the skull that encloses the brain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
Crutches, wooden legs, artificial arms, steel hooks, caoutchouc jaws, silver craniums, platinum noses, were all to be found in the collection; and it was calculated by the great statistician Pitcairn that throughout the Gun Club there was not quite one arm between four persons and two legs between six.
It encountered his cranium with a tremendous crash, --he was tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, the black steed, and the goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind.
And indeed the latter proved to be the truth, for this strange growth upon the craniums of the plant men of Barsoom represents the thousand ears of these hideous creatures, the last remnant of the strange race which sprang from the original Tree of Life.
And then into the clearing strode Numa, the lion-- majestic and mighty, and from a deep chest issued the moan and the cough and the rumbling roar that set stiff hairs to bristling from shaggy craniums down the length of mighty spines.
ENPNewswire-August 30, 2019--University of Barcelona: Researchers discover a 3.8-million-year-old almost complete hominid cranium, from a Lucy ancestor
The skull fossilized within the sandstone, to the delight of the scientists who discovered the cranium in 2016.
Known as MRD and scientifically belonging to Australopithecus anamensis, the (https://www.foxnews.com/science/lucy-ancestor-skull-ethiopia-discovered) fossilized cranium was found in the Woranso-Mille paleontological site, located in the Afar region of Ethiopia.A The site is also approximately 34 miles north of Hadar, a village in Ethiopia, where Lucy was discovered in 1974.
Researchers have discovered what they say is a remarkably complete cranium of an early human ancestor.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Researchers have discovered a remarkably complete 3.8-million-year-old cranium of Australopithecus anamensis at Woranso-Mille in Ethiopia.
He said: "The doctors said it's a good job I have such a solid cranium."
"You know, the doctors will tell you that the cranium (upper portion of skull), as you get older, thins out.
"You know, I mean, the doctors will tell you that the cranium as you get older, thins out.