Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Cranium

Inconsistently applied term whose variations include:

1. portion of the skull that includes the bones that surround the brain case; this is referred to as the neurocranium by some.

2. skull without the mandible or hyoid; the term skull is often used interchangeably with cranium.

3. as sometimes used in comparative anatomy (including primate comparative anatomy), the skull which is composed of a neurocranium, basicranium, and splanchnocranium; i.e. this approach defines the cranium as the skull. Plural: crania. Aka brain case.

Cf. calvaria.

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