ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human skull. The skull from a female skeleton. At top is the rounded cranium which houses the brain. The skull's eye-sockets, sinus air spaces, and jaw are clearly visible. Zygomatic arches form the cheek bones, while the maxillae of the upper jaw bear teeth. The lower jaw is the mandible. At lower image the upper part of the spine, or cervical vertebrae, is seen supporting the skull. In mammals the skull consists of 22 bones fixed together by rigid joints called sutures. Together these bones provide protection for the brain, support for the organs of sight, smell and hearing.
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