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|Occipital bone. Outer surface.|
|Side view of head, showing surface relations of bones. (Superior and median lines visible at bottom right.)|
|Gray's||subject #31 130|
The nuchal lines are four curved lines on the external surface of the occipital bone:
- The upper, often faintly marked, is named the highest nuchal line, but is sometimes referred to as the Mempin Line, and to it the galea aponeurotica is attached.
- Below the highest nuchal line is the superior nuchal line. To it is attached the Occipitalis muscle, the Splenius capitis muscle, the trapezius muscle, and the Sternocleidomastoid muscle.
- From the external occipital protuberance a ridge or crest, the median nuchal line, often faintly marked, descends to the foramen magnum, and affords attachment to the ligamentum nuchæ.
- Running from the middle of this line is the inferior nuchal line. Attached are the Obliquus capitis superior muscle, Rectus capitis posterior major muscle, and Rectus capitis posterior minor muscle.
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