External cranial base

Base of the skull: Inferior viewKey facts about the anatomy of the external cranial base.
~ 3 min

When looking at the cranium from underneath, the external surfaces of its bones are known as the external base (basis cranii externa).

There are numerous foramina and fissures on it, through which vessels and nerves pass. Let’s examine those in more detail.

Title Contents
The foramen magnum Vertebral arteries, anterior and posterior spinal arteries, the basilar plexus, spinal cord.
Foramen magnum (foramen magnum)
Foramen magnum (foramen magnum)
The condylar canal
(canalis condylaris)
Condylar emissary vein
Condylar canal (canalis condylaris)
Condylar canal (canalis condylaris)
The hypoglossal canal
(canalis nervi hypoglossi)
Hypoglossal nerve, venous plexus of hypoglossal canal
Hypoglossal canal (canalis nervi hypoglossi)
Hypoglossal canal (canalis nervi hypoglossi)
The mastoid foramen
(foramen mastoideum)
Mastoid emissary vein
Mastoid foramen (foramen mastoideum)
Mastoid foramen (foramen mastoideum)
The stylomastoid foramen
(foramen stylomastoideum)
Stylomastoid artery and vein, facial nerve
Stylomastoid foramen (foramen stylomastoideum)
Stylomastoid foramen (foramen stylomastoideum)
The jugular foramen
(foramen jugulare)
Internal jugular vein, posterior meningeal artery, lingual nerve, vagus nerve, accessory nerve, meningeal branch of vagus nerve
Jugular foramen (foramen jugulare)
Jugular foramen (foramen jugulare)
The tympanosquamous fissure
(fissura tympanosquamosa)
Deep auricular artery
Tympanosquamous fissure (fissura tympanosquamosa)
Tympanosquamous fissure (fissura tympanosquamosa)
The petrotympanic fissure
(fissura petrotympanica)
Anterior tympanic artery, chorda tympani (branch of facial nerve)
Petrotympanic fissure (fissura petrotympanica)
Petrotympanic fissure (fissura petrotympanica)
The mastoid canaliculus
(canaliculus mastoideus)
Auricular branch of the vagus nerve
Mastoid canaliculus (canaliculus mastoideus)
Mastoid canaliculus (canaliculus mastoideus)
The tympanic canaliculus
(canaliculus tympanicus)
Tympanic nerve
The external opening of the carotid canal
(apertura externa canalis carotidis)
Internal carotid plexus
Tympanic canaliculus (canaliculus tympanicus)
Tympanic canaliculus (canaliculus tympanicus)
The foramen lacerum
(foramen lacerum)
Lesser petrosal nerve
Foramen lacerum (foramen lacerum)
Foramen lacerum (foramen lacerum)
The foramen spinosum
(foramen spinosum)
Middle meningeal artery and veins, meningeal branch of the mandibular nerve
Foramen spinosum (foramen spinosum)
Foramen spinosum (foramen spinosum)
The foramen ovale
(foramen ovale)
Meningeal branch of the middle meningeal artery, emissary vein, mandibular nerve
Foramen ovale (foramen ovale)
Foramen ovale (foramen ovale)
The lesser palatine foramen
(foramina palatina minora)
Lesser palatine arteries, veins, and nerves
Lesser palatine foramen (foramina palatina minora)
Lesser palatine foramen (foramina palatina minora)
The greater palatine foramen
(foramen palatina majus)
Greater palatine artery, vein, and nerve
Greater palatine foramen (foramen palatina majus)
Greater palatine foramen (foramen palatina majus)
The incisive foramen
(foramen incisivum)
Nasopalatine nerve
Incisive foramen (foramen incisivum)
Incisive foramen (foramen incisivum)
Dictionary

External cranial base

cranial base
basis cranii externa
foramen magnum
foramen magnum
condylar canal
canalis condylaris
hypoglossal canal
canalis nervi hypoglossi
mastoid foramen
foramen mastoideum
stylomastoid foramen
foramen stylomastoideum
jugular foramen
foramen jugulare
tympanosquamous fissure
fissura tympanosquamosa
petrotympanic fissure
fissura petrotympanica
mastoid canaliculus
canaliculus mastoideus
tympanic canaliculus
canaliculus tympanicus
external opening of carotid canal
apertura externa canalis carotidis
foramen lacerum
foramen lacerum
foramen spinosum
foramen spinosum
foramen ovale
foramen ovale
lesser palatine foramina
foramina palatina minora
greater palatine foramen
foramen palatinum majus
incisive foramen
foramen incisivum
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