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Temporal Bone Anatomy

Introduction to temporal bone anatomy

  • The image descriptiontemporal bone (os temporale; L., the temple) forms portions of the sides and base of the skull.
skull view - highlighted temporal bone
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  • It is anatomically divided into four regions called the squamous, mastoid, temporal, and petrous parts.
  • The flattened squamous part forms the superior region of the bone that helps protect the sides of the brain (temporal lobe).
  • The thick, mastoid part forms the lower, posterior portion of the bone. Its roughened surface provides attachment sites for muscles that move the head and control the swallowing process.
  • The tympanic part lies anterior to the mastoid part and inferior to squamous part. It contains the external auditory meatus, a canal that leads to the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and bones of the middle ear.
  • The petrous part is a medial extension that forms the base of the skull between the sphenoid and occipital bones. It contains canals and receptors (inner ear) for the hearing and equilibrium systems.

 

Markings of the Temporal bone

  1. Squamous part or squama (pars squa-mosa: squama temporalis) is the smooth, thin, superior portion of the bone that forms the lower lateral cranial wall. It gives attachment to the temporalis muscle. [image descriptionLateral view / image descriptionCranial floor view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Squamous part Temoporal bone lateral view
Squamous part Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Squamous part Temoporal bone superior view
Squamous part Temoporal bone superior view colored
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  1. Zygomatic process (processus zygo-maticus temporalis) is a narrow, anterior extension from the inferior portion of the temporal squama. It joins with the temporal process of the zygomatic bone to form the zygomatic arch (or check bone). The zygomatic arch gives attachment to one of the chewing muscles, the masseter muscle.  [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Zygomatic process Temoporal bone lateral view
Zygomatic process Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Zygomatic process Temoporal bone inferior view
Zygomatic process Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. Tympanic part (pars tympanica tem-poralis) is the region of the temporal bone that surrounds the ear canal. It is located inferior to squamous part and anterior to the mastoid part of the bone.   [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Tympanic part Temoporal bone lateral view
Tympanic part Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Tympanic part Temoporal bone inferior view
Tympanic part Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. External acoustic (auditory) meatus (meatus acusticus externus temporalis) is a prominent canal (the ear canal) in the tympanic part of the temporal bone. It transmits sounds to the tympanic membrane (eardrum) in the middle ear. [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
External acoustic (auditory) meatus Temoporal bone lateral view
External acoustic (auditory) meatus Temoporal bone lateral view colored
External acoustic (auditory) meatus Temoporal bone inferior view
External acoustic (auditory) meatus Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. Styloid Process (processus styloideus temporalis) is a narrow inferior extension from the bottom surface of the tympanic part of the temporal bone. It is an attachment point for two ligaments and three muscles that move the pharynx and larynx during the swallowing process.   [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view/ image descriptionPosterior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Styloid Process Temoporal bone lateral view
Styloid Process Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Styloid Process Temoporal bone inferior view
Styloid Process Temoporal bone inferior view colored
Styloid Process Temoporal bone posterior view
Styloid Process Temoporal bone posterior view colored
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  1. Petrous part (pars petrosa temporalis) is a pyramid-shaped portion of the temporal bone that projects medially and anteriorly from the squamous part. It forms a narrow mass between the sphenoid bone (anterior) and the occipital bone (posterior). This hardened extension (petrosus; L., hard) encloses the middle and inner ear structures. [image descriptionCranial view/ image descriptionInferior view]
Temoporal bone superior view
Petrous part Temoporal bone superior view
Petrous part Temoporal bone superior view colored
Petrous part Temoporal bone inferior view
Petrous part Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. Internal acoustic (auditory) meatus (meatus acusticus internus temporalis) is a canal along the posteromedial surface of the petrous part. It gives passage to the facial and vestibulocochlear (auditory) nerves and the labyrinthine artery (an internal auditory branch of the basilar artery). [ image descriptionCranial view ]
Temoporal bone superior view
Internal acoustic (auditory) meatus Temoporal bone superior view
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  1. Carotid canal (canalis caroticus tem-poralis) is a prominent hole on the inferior surface of petrous part of the temporal bone, just anterior to jugular foramen. It gives passage for the internal carotid artery to enter the base of the skull. The internal carotid artery then curves anteromedially and enters the cranium through the foramen lacerum. [ image descriptionInferior view ]
Temoporal bone inferior view
Carotid canal Temoporal bone inferior view
Carotid canal Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. Mastoid part (pars mastoidea temporalis) is the thick, roughened, posterior portion of the temporal bone that is located behind the ear.  [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view/ image descriptionPosterior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Mastoid part Temoporal bone lateral view
Mastoid part Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Mastoid part Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid part Temoporal bone inferior view colored
Mastoid part Temoporal bone posterior view
Mastoid part Temoporal bone posterior view colored
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  1. Mastoid process (processus mastoideus temporalis) is a pyramidal or conically shaped protrusion from the inferior surface of mastoid part of the temporal bone, just posterior to external auditory meatus. It contains air cells that connect to the middle ear and gives attachment to muscles that move the head and neck.  [image descriptionLateral view/ image descriptionInferior view/ image descriptionPosterior view]
Temoporal bone lateral view
Mastoid process Temoporal bone lateral view
Mastoid process Temoporal bone lateral view colored
Mastoid process Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid process Temoporal bone inferior view colored
Mastoid process Temoporal bone posterior view
Mastoid process Temoporal bone posterior view colored
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  1. Mastoid notch (incisura mastoidea temporalis) is a narrow, deep depression on the medial side of the mastoid process. It is an attachment point for the digastric muscle that moves the hyoid bone and opens the mouth (or depresses the mandible). image descriptionInferior view/ image descriptionPosterior view
Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid notch Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid notch Temoporal bone inferior view colored
Mastoid notch Temoporal bone posterior view
Mastoid notch Temoporal bone posterior view colored
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  1. Stylomastoid foramen (foramen stylo-mastoideum temporalis) is a small hole on the inferior surface of the petrous part of the temporal bone, in the region between styloid and mastoid processes. It allows the facial nerve to exit the skull and the stylomastoid artery to enter. [ image descriptionInferior view ]
Temoporal bone inferior view
Stylomastoid foramen Temoporal bone inferior view
Stylomastoid foramen Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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  1. Mastoid foramen (foramen mastoideum temporalis) is a hole of variable size and position that is located on the inferior surface of the skull, posterior to mastoid process. It transmits the emissary vein(s) from the sigmoid sinus and a branch of the occipital artery to the dura mater. [ image descriptionInferior view ]
Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid foramen Temoporal bone inferior view
Mastoid foramen Temoporal bone inferior view colored
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Test yourself:

Lateral view: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide] answers

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Inferior view: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide] answers

Test yourself - Temoporal bone inferior view
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Cranial floor view: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide] answers

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Posterior view: [image descriptionShow/image descriptionHide] answers

Test yourself - Temoporal bone posterior view
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