Skull Bones and Upper Limb Bones banner image

Getting Overview

This article discovers the intricate structure and crucial role of skull bones and upper limb bones in the human body. The human skeletal system is a complex structure that provides support, protection, and mobility to the body. It consists of several bones, each with unique characteristics and functions. In this article, we will talk deeply about the skull bones and upper limb bones. So, let’s go. 

Major Skull Bones with Structural Parts

Now, we will talk about the bones in the skull region, which includes the Skull (cranial bones), which have six different types.

Skull (Cranium) Bones

The skull is the protective structure that encloses and safeguards the brain. It is comprised of several bones that fuse together during development, and those are:

Cranial Bones

Cranial bones cover and safeguard the brain. It is crucial to understand the structure of these cranial bones. And the vital role they play in protecting the brain and supporting various natural activities. And the bones that come under the cranial part:

1. Frontal Bone

The frontal bone forms the forehead and the upper part of the eye sockets. It extends back to the coronal suture (fibrous joint), which connects it to the parietal bones. This bone works as a protective shield for the frontal lobes of the brain. Those lobes are responsible for motor function, decision-making, and emotional expression.

2. Parietal Bones

The parietal bones are situated on the sides and roof of the cranium, they form a pair of bones. They meet at the sagittal suture, which extends from the front to the back of the skull. The parietal bones, play a vital role in safeguarding the parietal lobes of the brain. These lobes work for sensory understanding, language processing, and physical awareness.

The sagittal suture is a dividing line. It separates the skull into two halves.

3. Temporal Bones

The temporal bones are situated on the sides and base of the skull. Each temporal bone consists of several regions, including the squamous part (a flat, scale-like section), the tympanic part (houses the ear canal and eardrum), the mastoid part (located behind the ear that contains air spaces), and the petrous part (a dense and hard section that houses inner ear and cranial nerves). These bones safeguard the temporal lobes, which play a significant role in auditory processing, memory formation, and language comprehension.

4. Occipital Bone

This bone sits at the back of the skull. It shapes the cranium’s foundation. It houses a spacious aperture known as the foramen magnum, which allows the spinal cord to pass through. Occipital bone shields the occipital lobes. These lobes are responsible for visual processing and interpretation

5. Sphenoid Bone

The sphenoid bone is a complex, butterfly-shaped bone situated at the center of the skull. It consists of a body and various processes, including the greater wings, lesser wings, and pterygoid processes. The sphenoid bone forms part of the eye sockets and helps support the base of the cranium. And, it also consists of the pituitary gland (an endocrine gland that regulates various bodily functions).

Pterygoid processes are bony structures in the sphenoid bone that help form the walls of the nasal cavity. And it provides attachment points for muscles involved in chewing.

6. Ethmoid Bone

The ethmoid bone is located between the eye sockets. It forms part of the nasal cavity and the nasal septum (the wall that divides the inside of the nose into two separate passages). It consists of a horizontal plate (cribriform plate) and several vertical plates (perpendicular plate and superior and middle nasal conchae). The ethmoid bone plays an important role in supporting the structure of the face and nasal passages, and it also assists the sense of smell.

The nasal cavity is the air-filled space behind your nose that helps filter, warm, and moisten the air you breathe.

Now, we will talk about the facial bones, which form from eight bones.

Facial Bones

Cranial bones and facial bones with Parts

The human face is a remarkable structure composed of various bones that provide support, protection, and shape to the facial features. And these bones in the human face protect them from outside forces. There are many more functions about which we will talk about. The facial bones are:

1. Maxilla

The maxilla is the upper jawbone and forms the central part of the face. It contributes to the formation of the roof of the mouth, the floor of the eye sockets, and the sides of the nasal cavity. The maxilla also holds the upper teeth in place.

2. Mandible

The mandible is the lower jawbone, which is the largest and strongest bone in the face. It is responsible for supporting the lower teeth and allowing the movements necessary for chewing, talking, and facial expressions.

3. Zygomatic Bones (Cheekbones)

The zygomatic bones are located on either side of the face and form the main part of the cheeks. They articulate with the frontal bone (forehead) and the temporal bone (sides of the skull) to create the structure of the eye sockets.

4. Nasal Bones

The nasal bones are small bones that form the bridge of the nose. They help support the shape and structure of the nose, contributing to its overall appearance.

5. Lacrimal Bones

The lacrimal bones are the smallest bones in the face and are situated behind the nasal bones. They form a part of the eye sockets and house the lacrimal sacs, which are responsible for producing tears and draining them into the nasal cavity.

6. Palatine Bones

The palatine bones are located at the back of the nasal cavity. It contributes to the formation of the hard palate, which forms the roof of the mouth. They also help separate the nasal cavity from the oral cavity.

7. Vomer

The vomer is a thin, flat bone located in the midline of the nasal cavity. It forms the inferior portion of the nasal septum, which divides the nasal cavity into left and right sides.

8. Inferior Nasal Conchae

The inferior nasal conchae are paired bones located on the lateral walls of the nasal cavity. They help increase the surface area of the nasal passages, filter and humidify inhaled air, and redirect airflow for optimal respiratory function.

In the next section, we will talk about the upper limb bones in the hand, forearm, arm, and Shoulder Girdle.

Upper Limb Bones

Anterior and Posterior View of Upper Limb Bones

The human upper limb is an incredible structure that enables a wide range of movements and functions. Let’s talk about the separate parts of the upper limb and the bones. And those components are:

Shoulder Girdle

Bones that form the shoulder girdle are:

1. Clavicle (Collarbone)

The clavicle is a long, slender bone that spans horizontally across the upper part of the chest. It serves as a connection between the sternum (breastbone) and the scapula. The clavicle has several essential functions:

  • Support and Protection: The clavicle acts as a strut, providing structural support for the shoulder and upper limb. It also helps protect the underlying vital structures, such as blood vessels and nerves.
  • Mobility: The clavicle’s S-shape enables movement and flexibility, allowing the arm to move in various directions.
  • Muscle Attachment: Multiple muscles attach to the clavicle. The muscles that attach to the clavicle are the pectoralis major, deltoid, and trapezius muscles. These muscle attachments play a crucial role in shoulder movement and stability.

2. Scapula (Shoulder Blade)

The scapula is a triangular-shaped bone located on the upper back. It lies between the second and seventh ribs and has several significant functions:

  • Muscle Attachment: The scapula serves as an attachment site for various muscles involved in shoulder and arm movement. These muscles include the rotator cuff (a group of tendons and muscles), deltoid (a triangular muscle), and trapezius muscles (a pair of large, triangular muscles).
  • Shoulder Joint Stability: The scapula plays an important role in maintaining stability. It acts as a foundation for the head of the humerus (upper arm bone), helping to keep the joint in place during movement.
  • Range of Motion: The scapula’s ability to slide and rotate against the ribcage allows for a wide range of arm movements, such as reaching, lifting, and throwing.


The arm, one of our upper limbs, stretches from the shoulder joint to the hand and carries out several functions such as movement, manipulation, and sensory perception.

1. Humerus

The humerus, which is situated in the upper arm, stretches from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint. It holds the title of being the largest bone in the upper limb and performs a vital function in facilitating arm movement and stability.

The humerus consists of several distinct anatomical features that enable its functions:

a. Shaft

The humerus has a long cylindrical shaft, which forms the main body of the bone. It provides structural support and serves as an attachment site for muscles that help with arm movements.

b. Proximal End

The proximal end of the humerus is closer to the body’s midline and forms the shoulder joint. It consists of the following key structures→ The head of the humerus is round and shaped like a ball. It articulates with the shallow socket of the scapula bone, also known as the glenoid cavity. On the lateral side of the humerus, we can find the greater tubercle. It serves as a site where muscles attach. The lesser tubercle is situated on the anterior side of the humerus, and it also acts as an attachment point for muscles involved in shoulder movements. Right below the head of the humerus, there is a constriction called the anatomical neck. It serves as a site for the attachment of the joint capsule and ligaments that stabilize the shoulder joint.

c. Distal End

The distal end of the humerus is closer to the hand and forms the elbow joint. It consists of the following important structures:

The trochlea sits on the medial side of the distal humerus, and it has a spool-like shape. On the lateral side of the distal humerus, you can find the Capitulum, which is another component of the elbow joint. Bony projections known as the medial and lateral Epicondyles are located on either side of the distal humerus. These projections act as attachment points for different muscles and ligaments that play a role in forearm and wrist movements.


The forearm is a crucial part of the upper limb and is located between the elbow joint and the wrist. The following bones are:

1. Radius

The radius is one of the two bones in the forearm, located on the thumb side (lateral side) of the forearm. It extends from the elbow joint to the wrist joint and is responsible for forearm rotation and movement.

2. Ulna

The ulna is the other bone in the forearm, located on the little finger side (medial side) of the forearm. It runs parallel to the radius and plays a crucial role in forearm stability and the formation of the elbow joint.


The hand is a complex structure that enables humans to perform intricate movements and manipulate objects with precision. It has the following bones:

1. Carpals

The carpal bones are a group of eight small bones that make up the wrist joint. They are arranged in two rows of four bones each and are named: scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate. These bones contribute to the flexibility and stability of the wrist joint.

The scaphoid, lunate, and triquetrum are located in the proximal row of carpal bones, while the pisiform sits on top of the triquetrum. The trapezium and trapezoid form part of the distal row (refers to a group of eight carpals), adjacent to the metacarpal bones of the hand. The capitate, the largest carpal bone, lies between the trapezoid and hamate. Finally, the hamate completes the distal row, connecting with the metacarpal of the little finger. 

2. Metacarpals

The metacarpals are five long bones that form the framework of the palm. They connect the carpals to the phalanges and provide support and structure to the hand. Each metacarpal is a finger. It is numbered from the thumb (first metacarpal) to the little finger (fifth metacarpal).

3. Phalanges

The bones of the fingers and thumb are called phalanges. Each finger forms from the three phalanges. Those three phalanges include –> the proximal phalanx, the middle phalanx, and the distal phalanx. Whereas, the thumb has two phalanges. And those are the proximal and distal phalanges. The phalanges help us make precise movements with our fingers and thumb, so we can grasp and manipulate objects.


In conclusion, skull bones and upper limb bones have a vital role in supporting, protecting, and enabling movement in the human body. The skull bones, which include the cranial and facial bones, enclose and safeguard the brain, while also contributing to sensory perception, language processing, and facial features. The upper limb bones, such as the clavicle, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges. These bones allow for a wide range of movements and functions, enabling us to perform tasks with precision and dexterity.

Whether it’s the cranial bones guarding the brain, the facial bones shaping our appearance, or the upper limb bones facilitating our movements, each bone in the skull and upper limbs contributes to the overall functionality of the human body. By appreciating their complexity and interconnectedness, we can develop a deeper appreciation for the remarkable structure and capabilities of the human skeletal system.

Further Reading on Upper Limb Bones

IntakeLearn supports readers by publishing a wide range of articles on Anatomy, offering detailed insights on various topics to enhance their understanding of the subject. Thank you for reading the article. Explore more relevant articles on IntakeLearn.

For more reading explore other source articles such as:

  1. Wikipedia:
  2. Wikipedia:
  3. Wikipedia:
  4. NIH:


  1. Images used in this article are Designed by Freepik:
  2. Anatomist90, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  3. LadyofHats, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  4. DrJanaOfficial, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Leave a Reply