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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Skull:
  1. Expand animal skull section
  2. Discuss the evolution of the skull
  3. Discuss general structure and/or composition variation between mammals/bird/reptiles/amphibians/fish, and then how its shape and appearance can vary enormously within those classes
  4. Discuss the differences between herbivore/carnivore/omnivore skulls
  5. Incorporate the anapsid, synapsid, and diapsid structures
Priority 1 (top)

Resonance Frequency for different skulls[edit]

In the C++ language, at least that included in a Turbo C++ compiler by Borland I used in the 1990's, there is a statement regarding the sound frequency programming that does not allow the 7 hz frequency to be generated by the computer. The reason given is that is the resonant frequecy for the chicken skull. It gave a story that this fact was discovered when motors from a factory that caused 7 hz vibrations had killed large numbers of chickens in a nearby chicken farm.

How does one determine the resonant frequecy for the skulls of other types of animals? Is there a relieable formula or how does one proceed to tune in the right frequency?

Dictionaries commonly refer to 'cranium' as the part of the skull containing the brain. The opening sentence here uses 'cranium' as a synonym for 'skull.’ That includes the facial bones, jaw etc., correct? I thought the common usage for 'cranium' was maybe a little imprecise, but this article suggests that it's completely wrong. It might be worth nailing this point down in some way. Larry Holyoke 3/12/05

No, cranium is identical to skull. The neurocranium contains the brain, and the viscerocranium the rest. JFW | T@lk 20:28, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Here are all the major divisions of the skull bones I'm aware of:
  • skull = the whole thing.
  • mandible = lower jaw
  • cranium = skull, minus the mandible
  • splanchnocranium (viscerocranium) = facial bones
  • neurocranium (calvarium) = braincase
  • calotte = upper bones of braincase, (term rarely used)

[Source: White, T.D. 1991. Human osteology. Academic Press, Inc. San Diego, CA.] -- Dcfleck 21:30, 2005 Mar 12 (UTC)

hmm... Mosby's Dictionary has cranium for bones containing the brain, specifically frontal, occipital, sphenoid, ethmoid, temporal, and parietal. for skull it has 8 bones of cranium + 14 of face. it has no entry for neurocranium, splanchnocranium, or calotte. Cranium = braincase is what I learned. Matt 22:04, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

What's up with the first paragraph under Humans? The last sentence is incomplete. I'm on tenterhooks, wondering just what I can count. Ortonmc 18:47, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

  • Hope I answered that. =-) Alex.tan 03:09, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Foramen ovale must be wrong in the list in this article, as it is a hole in the heart, not the skull. I doubt that anatomist have given the same name to two different structures in the human body. andy 17:02, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Seems it is really a duplicate name - at least according to [1]. andy 17:16, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A "foramen ovale" just means a round hole. There are two named foramen ovales in the body, one in the heart and one in the skull. Alex.tan 01:46, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

Asian Skull Features[edit]

"Among neurologists and pathologists, it is well-known that the most consistent and unique trait in East Asians is skull shape. However, this bit of knowledge is rarely discussed in public because of the need to avoid encouraging pseudoscientific theories like phrenology which attempt to connect skull shape to intelligence." Can anybody adds a description of Asian skull unique feature? Or at least an external link? This is wikipedia, which shall not worry about political correctness.

Well, here's what my old osteology textbook says:

The problems in using discrete cranial and dental features to determine ancestry are perhaps best appreciated by considering what all osteologists agree is a racial marker: the shovel-shaped incisors seen in high frequency in modern Asian populations... Suffice it to say that incisors from Asian populations show a high incidence of shoveling, but also that the presence of shoveled incisors is hardly grounds for confident identification of a dentition as Asian.

...compared to populations of African or European origin, Asian populations display skulls characterized by narrow, concave nasal bones, prominent cheek bones, circular orbits, and shoveled incisors. Compared to Asians and Europeans, African crania have been characterized as showing wide interorbital distances, rectangular orbits, broad nasal apertures with poor inferior definition, gracile cranial superstructures, and pronounced total facial and alveolar prognathism. European crania have been characterized as displaying narrow nasal apertures with sharp inferior borders, prominent nasal spines, heavy glabellar and supraorbital regions, receding cheek bones, and large, prominent nasal bones.

This is proceeded by the caveat:

...all workers agree that racial estimations are usually more difficult, less precise, and less reliable than estimations of age, sex, or stature.

White, T.D. and P.A. Folkens. 1991. Human Osteology. Academic Press, Inc.

-- Dcfleck 18:45, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)

User:3210 has recently added a section on the classification of human skulls, which was promptly deleted by User:Mokele. Perhaps this was because such classification is considered racist (?). If so, then that is insufficient reason for deletion; such racial typing is/was conducted, and should be reported irrespective of whether it has any scientific basis (just a phrenology should be described, even though it is surely based on flawed assumptions). My own father (a Pole) was examined by the Gestapo, and found to have "textbook Aryan skull"; this together with his fluent German led to his being sent to the Eastern Front (right at the finish, when they ran out of real Germans). --catslash (talk) 19:08, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
While it was undeniably racist, it was deleted mostly because it was simply garbage. The information should go on the phrenology page, not here - there's no defensible reason to include information which is known to be false on a primary article for a subject. Including it would be like including creationism in the evolution article - a pointless diversion into ideas whose only merit or interest is historical curiousity. Mokele (talk) 19:29, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Neutrality disputed?[edit]

Why is there a disputed neutrality flag on this article? It refers to this talk page, but I see no dispute here. Jonathunder 22:12, 2005 July 27 (UTC)

Check the page history. I find the NPOV tagging of this article highly objectionable. →Raul654 22:37, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Just as the article on Football does not discourse heavily about any given team, so should the article about the skull not so heavily focus on one particular vertebrate. I urge you to move most of the article to Human skull.
The NPOV flagging was sort of a sick joke with a small point. =) Yeago 20:14, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia is necessarily anthropocentric - after all, it was written by humans and animals, as far as we know, can't read. Until someone writes a much better article on general characteristics of a skull, it's only right that human skull redirects here. Most people looking up the word "skull" at the moment would expect to find an article on the human skull. By the way, your sick joke regarding reverting for the NPOV flagging is not funny. Please refrain from doing so in future. Alex.tan 01:31, July 29, 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean, however, there are many stigmas and other social attachments to the human skull that do not apply to all skulls in general, and I believe this article's title is neccessarily limiting. Human skull imagery has been used since before human civilization to mean all kinds of things--least of all the information given in the skull article. Although I believe this limitation would be allieved by the creation of a human skull article, this belief is not strong enough to warrant the use of a disgusted tone toward any other human being. As for flagging it NPOV: it is still my contention that it is NPOV, although I found its flagging to have a humorous and attention drawing side effect.
You say "until" someone writes a much better article on the skull, which illustrates that this is a mere difference of opinion. I find that to be putting the horse before the cart. If we know there are two distinct entities here, why not separate them? Anyway, don't think I'm going to get into a REVERT war over this article I found randomly! It will be best, and you agree that it is the future of the article, so why not provide that framework now, and let others fill in later? A rhetorical question. Do as you see fit, oh mother hen of the skull article. Yeago 07:11, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


These pictures are great, but does anybody have pictures of the (human) skull from the inside? I'm trying to get a feel for where the pituitary gland is located by comparing the picture there with pictures here. -- Toby Bartels 03:07, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


My english teacher told me that the word "skull" comes from vikings who ravaged England and used human skulls as drinking glasses, saying "skål", in english "cheers", before drinking from them, thus giving the name. I haven't though found any other source to confirm that, but it would be interest to know whether it is true or not. And if it is, I think ii could be added here. Latre


I think it's wrong to define a skull as a bony structure of Craniates. Craniates is a group of animals that have a skull. It's like saying "a skull is a bony structure of all animals with skulls". 02:27, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

external links[edit]

Thoughts on whether the link to the Skulls page at is appropriate for inclusion? --Lukobe 21:57, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

If you cannot find the link to the Skulls page from this website it is here: Asian SkullsDark Tichondrias 02:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

This information provider is a huge boon to Wikipedia:The Free Encyclopedia, because it has great specificity about an aspect in the broad field of human skulls. It deals specifically with one aspect of human skulls, allowing it to delve into the depths of the subject. It is similar to an information source just dealing with cranial development. This Wikipedia webpage cannot cover all the topics, so it is necessary to allow links to sites whose expertise is in a single subject. Removing it from Wikipedia, would be very detrimental to Wikipedia being a comprehensive provder of free knowledgeDark Tichondrias 22:35, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Comparative Anatomy[edit]

Do basal craniata have a different set of skull bones? Are the skull bones homologous to parts of one or more vertebra? --dsws 16:51, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Basal craniates don't have skull bones at all - they have cartilaginous crania (and no mandibles). Crania are not homologous to vertebrae or parts thereof. (talk) 19:05, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

28 or 29?[edit]

From the article:

In humans, the adult skull is normally made up of 29 bones.


The hyoid bone, supporting the larynx, is usually not considered as part of the skull, as it does not articulate with any other bones.

I assume the 29 count quoted first does include the hyoid despite the second quote? Cburnett 03:29, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Split into "Human skull"[edit]

This article is extremely anthropocentric! I think that almost all of it's content should be moved into a new article with a more specific title, then the skull article should be populated with more general anatomy writing. A discussion of the evolution of the skull would be good, showing how its changed over time from simple primative-fish skulls to diapids, synapsids, and so forth. Also, how its general structure and/or composition varies between mammals/bird/reptiles/amphibians/fish, and then how its shape and appearance can vary enormously within those classes. A lot of work, but a spilt and then a to-do list would be a great start, anyone agree? - Jack (talk) 20:24, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Agree with all of above. I would love to see more information about non-mammalian skulls here, but unfortunately the further I go away from H. sapiens, the more my knowledge flickers and dwindles! Splitting off "Human skull" from the main article would be a good start. Preacherdoc 23:48, 19 July 2006 (UTC)Preacherdoc.
Agree --SafeGuard 18:41, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Was just about to do the split (as there are no objections), but then I realised there ain't actually that much else in the article... Once the animal skull section is adequatly filed out, and biocentrism is restored, I will happily do the split - Jack (talk) 22:17, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was merge.--Jorfer 14:37, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Merge with temporal fenestra[edit]

This should help expand the animal skull section. Merge - Jack (talk) 22:21, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Agree. Neodarksaver 06:49, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

A link on the skull page is helpful, but separating these structures offers the opportunity to do a more refined search.


Current version of this article reads: "They do, though, still have the temporal orbit (which resembles an opening) and the temporal muscles." It seems that temporal fossa might be a better term here than temporal orbit, which I have never heard used before. It also seems that much of this article could beneficially be fused with the Skull article, to the benefit of both.Preacherdoc 23:18, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Tyrannosaur Skull[edit]

The tyrannosaur skull pictured is a heavily inaccurate early reconstruction based around the carnosaur Allosaurus, and has since been disassembled. Surely we can find a better picture of a tyrannosaur skull than that? Kare Kare 23:28, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Fracture clean-up please[edit]

The section on fractures lacks punctuation and complete sentences, but more importantly, I do not have a clue what the last statement in the "Mid-facial Skeletal fracture" is even supposed to mean.

"Analogous to a ‘matchbox’ sitting below and in front of a hard shell containing the brain and differs quite markedly from the rigid projection of the mandible below"


I'm just beginning to study anatomy, so I do not feel qualified to do the clean-up here, but if someone more familiar with the subject could fix this, I would greatly appreciate it! 18:06, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Skull photo[edit]

The first picture in the article is a dim close-up of a damaged human skull. Don't you think it would be more appropriate for an encyclopedia article to have a photo of a well-lit, non-damaged skull?

For just a second, I thought I was going to read horror tales, not a Wikipedia entry. :P —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Two divisions[edit]

"The skull can be subdivided into two parts: the cranial bones and the facial bones. A skull that is missing a mandible is only a cranium; this is the source of a very commonly made error in terminology. Those animals having skulls are called " I don't think it is cranium and mandible (single). If you feel the same way I do, please change it, but in doing so the next sentences serve little purpose. (talk) 23:06, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Section deleted[edit]

Crystal skulls[edit]

The crystal skulls are a number of human skull hardstone carvings made from clear or milky quartz rock, known in art history as "rock crystal", claimed to be pre-Columbian Mesoamerican artifacts by their alleged finders. However, none of the specimens made available for scientific study were authenticated as pre-Columbian in origin. The results of these studies demonstrated that those examined were manufactured in the mid-19th century or later, almost certainly in Europe.[1] Despite some claims presented in an assortment of popularizing literature, legends of crystal skulls with mystical powers do not figure in genuine Mesoamerican or other Native American mythologies and spiritual accounts.[2] In this latter work, Philip Jenkins, former Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies and latterly an endowed Professor of Humanities at PSU, writes that crystal skulls are among the more obvious of examples where the association with Native spirituality is a "historically recent" and "artificial" synthesis. These are "products of a generation of creative spiritual entrepreneurs" that do not "[represent] the practice of any historical community".

I deleted this section from the article, since it didn't fit in the "Other skulls" section of an anatomical article. --Kjoonlee 17:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Broken links[edit]

The following links are broken and should be updated or replaced.

  • Animal Skull Collection
  • Skull terminology site by Texas A&M

I would like to also add the following online (link) resource. I feel it is an effective, be it simplified, skull anatomy learning tool. The site is non-profit and is (as I understand it) widely used by students as an anatomy review tool. --Zonethree (talk) 14:51, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I just did some cleanup of the EL section; there were some other dead links as well as youtube videos. I left this one in, but have my doubts about it. As to the "get body smart" link, I'll wait for others to comment. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 20:59, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Should "Cranium" get its own article?[edit]

"Cranium" currently redirects to "Skull", but, anatomically, it is a subsection of the skull, "Mandible" has an article, should cranium not also? Please post your opinions. That Ole' Cheesy Dude (Talk to the hand!) 16:18, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ British Museum (n.d.-b), Jenkins (2004, p.217), Sax et al. (2008), Smith (2005), Walsh (1997; 2008)
  2. ^ Aldred (2000, passim.); Jenkins (2004, pp.218–219).