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What is the function of the skull?

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odell | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 14, 2009 at 5:31 PM via web

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What is the function of the skull?

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted October 14, 2009 at 7:38 PM (Answer #1)

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Skull is the bony structure that forms the framework of head of humans and other animals.

The human skull contains 22 bones. Out of these 8 bones form a rigid hollow case called cranium. The function of cranium is to house and protect the brain. Other 14 bones form the face and are called facial bones. All the bones of the skull except the lower jaw bone form a rigid structure. The functions of the facial bones include the following.

  • Houses organs like eyes, ears, nose, mouth etc. It should be noted that a rigid skull permits fixed distance between eyes to permit stereoscopic vision. Similarly fixed position of ears permit judgement on direction and distance of sources of sounds.
  • Provide a firm support to the set of teeth.
  • Provide a framework for movement of jaws.

In some animals the skull also serves defensive function by way of horns.

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pksisland | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted October 27, 2009 at 1:33 PM (Answer #2)

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In many animals the primary function of the cranium is defensive in nature to the brain portion of the central nervous system.  There are many other related functions.  For example, focus of the eyes on a fixed point is determined by rigid eye sockets of the cranium, and the proportional positioning of the ear drums is also determined by the cranium.  The sinus cavities are also part of the cranium, providing a particularly important function on animals lower in the food chain, since a sense of smell is an important defensive function.  In very large animals the cranium may be the bone from which large muscle group are attached.

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rickybenson | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 14, 2009 at 7:08 PM (Answer #3)

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(i) Cranium protects and houses the brain.

(ii) It contains and supports the eyes.

(iii) Skull contains nasal chambers where sense of small is perceived.

(iv) It has respiratory passages.

(v) Maxillae and mandible form upper and lower jaws having teeth. They help in cutting and mastication

of food.

(vi) Mandible being mobile plays a major role in mastication and speech.

(vii) Hyoid apparatus supports the throat and tongue.

(viii) Ear bones are mobile. They are helpful in amplification of sound.

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arrellbelle | Student, College Sophomore | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 6, 2014 at 8:03 PM (Answer #4)

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The skull's main purposes is to protect the brain, store the eyes, and it also is attached to the mandible by the mandibular notch. This helps for us to be able to speak and eat food. The skull has a lot of foramen and fossas to help house the nerves for the different systems of our body.

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zumba96 | TA , Grade 11 | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted June 7, 2014 at 6:31 PM (Answer #5)

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The skull contains 22 bones and is for protecting the brain, supporting the eyes, the ear bones can move which causes sound to become amplified, it includes respiratory passages and includes nasal chambers which is how and where you can sense smell and identify it and also it is attacked to the mandible by the mandibular notch which allows and helps us to eat food and speak. 

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