The skull is comprised of the 14 bones of the cranium, the mandible, and the hyoid.
This page represents complete specimens of skull bones. Other skull specimens can be found in the digital teaching collection.
The bones of the cranium articulate with each other by way of sutures, which are fibrous joints between two interlocking denticulate edges which allow very little movement. This type of joint is very different from the more familiar synovial joints, highly mobile joints encased by a sac and lubricated with fluids. Most familiar joints such as the knee, elbow, and hip are synovial joints. The only synovial joints in the skull are the jaw joint and the articulations of the tiny auditory ossicles. The sutures between bones of the cranium are most evident in young individuals. Over time the bones fuse together such that some sutures in extremely old individuals are virtually invisible.
Most of the sutures are named based on the bones involved (e.g. the frontonasal sutures). However, several of the sutures have special names. The coronal suture is between the frontals and parietals, the sagittal suture is where the two parietals meet, the squamosal suture is at the junction between the temporal and the parietals, and the lambdoidal suture is at the union of the parietals and occipital.
For other on the 14 bones that make up the cranium, visit eSkeletons.