The parietal bones are a pair of flat, curved bones located on the top and sides of the human skull. There are two parietal bones in the cranium, one on the left side and one on the right side. These bones join together along the midline of the skull at a suture known as the sagittal suture. The parietal bones also articulate with several other bones in the skull, including the frontal bone, occipital bone, temporal bones, and the sphenoid bone.
Key features and characteristics of the parietal bones include:
- Sagittal Suture: The sagittal suture is the point where the two parietal bones meet along the midline of the skull. It runs from the frontal bone toward the occipital bone at the back of the head.
- Coronal Suture: The parietal bones form the coronal suture when they meet the frontal bone anteriorly.
- Lambdoid Suture: At the posterior end of each parietal bone, they articulate with the occipital bone at a suture called the lambdoid suture.
- Temporal Lines: On the external surface of the parietal bones, there are curved lines known as the temporal lines. These lines serve as attachment points for various muscles, including the temporalis muscle, which is involved in chewing.
- Fontanelles (in Infants): In infants and young children, the junctions of the parietal bones with other cranial bones are not fully fused, and there are soft spots called fontanelles. The most prominent fontanelle is the anterior fontanelle, which is located near the junction of the parietal and frontal bones.
The parietal bones contribute to the protective covering of the brain and help form the shape and structure of the skull. Their smooth, curved surfaces provide a protective enclosure for the parietal lobes of the brain, which are involved in sensory processing and perception.
In addition to their structural role, the parietal bones are also of interest in the fields of neuroanatomy and craniofacial medicine, particularly in the context of cranial fractures, head injuries, and surgical procedures that involve the cranial vault.
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