California State University, Chico

Reproduction is permitted, whole or in part, only by the express permission of the authors
Graphics, Layout, and Text © Copyright 1995 by Turhon Murad
Design, and Graphics © Copyright 1995 by Nanci Ellis

Project was sponsored, in part, by Technology and Learning Program, CSU, Chico

Welcome to the Skull Module!

The Skull Module was designed to demonstrate how World Wide Web technology and a graphical user interface could be used to assist in the development of classroom curriculum.

This graphic is a mapped image file

You may choose to click on the individual bones to follow the links to the various bone pages, or you may choose to follow the links through the list shown below.


To view a QuickTime VR movie of the skull click here.
To return to this page of the Skull Module© use the Back feature of your browser.


The Cranium: A General Overview

The Cranium, also called the "Skull," describes the skeleton of the head, face and mandible.

It is a portion of the axial skeleton, or that portion associated with the central nervous system. Those portions of the skeleton not associated with the central nervous system, are associated with the appendicular skeleton or the extremities (i.e., the arms and legs).

The axial skeleton consists of the cranium, all the osseous elements of the vertebral column, the ribs, and the sternum.

In an adult, various of the bones of the cranium are paired left and a right, while others, which cross the mid-sagittal plane, are unpaired. Furthermore, the bones of the skull are classified as those which are called Cranial Bones, or contribute to that portion surrounding the brain, or Facial Bones(i.e., those which do not assist in forming the braincase).


Glossary of Terms



The Individual Bones

Each of the bones of the cranium posses a number of distinctive features which not only allow the bone to be identified, but also permit its exact location and orientation in the body to be determined (i.e., as a left or right, medial- lateral, posterior-anterior, inferior-superior, etc.). The features listed as characteristic of each of the bones depicted in the Skull Module© serve as an aid in such an identification. While the list of features accompanying each bone is by no means complete, the major ones are introduced. Additionally, various QuickTime VR movies have been made available for many of the cranial bones in order to assist in overcoming the three deminsional difficulties associated with becoming familiar with the bones. Moreover, because the Skull Module© is seen as only an introductory attempt to assist students of human cranial skeletal anatomy, the elements of the inner ear (i.e., the Malleus, Incus, and Stapes), as well as the individual teeth are not addressed.

To learn more about each of the individual bones of the skull, click on any of the color coordinated bones in the graphic above or the highlighted links below.

Paired Cranial Bones:

Unpaired Cranial Bones:

Paired Facial Bones:

Unpaired Facial Bones:

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Last Updated: May 1, 1999