The skull is a bony structure in the head of many animals that supports the structures of the face and forms a cavity for the brain.
The skull is composed of two parts: the cranium and the mandible. A skull without a mandible is only a cranium. Animals that have skulls are called craniates. The skull is a part of the skeleton.
Functions of the skull include protection of the brain, fixing the distance between the eyes to allow stereoscopic vision, and fixing the position of the ears to help the brain use auditory cues to judge direction and distance of sounds. In some animals, the skull also has a defensive function (e.g. horned ungulates); the frontal bone is where horns are mounted.
The English word "skull" is probably derived from Old Norse "skalli" meaning bald, while the Latin word cranium comes from the Greek root κρανίον (kranion).
The skull is made of flat bones. The human skull is usually 7 mm thick
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Famous quotes containing the word skull:
“Locked in each human skull is a little world all its own.”
—Robert Tusker, and Michael Curtiz. Dr. Xavier (Lionel Atwill)
“Panting, begging I clutched childlike, clutched to the hot sides of
Now I am dry bones and my face a stony skull staring in yellow
surprise at the sun. . . .”
—Richard Wright (18081860)
“I dont have to pound on that thick skull of yours and make big speeches as to what this mission means to us. I think you know. If you do good, it means the lives of several thousand men, so do good.”
—Alvah Bessie, Ranald MacDougall, Lester Cole, and Raoul Walsh. Col. Carter, Objective Burma, giving a subaltern a mission (1945)