We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Cranial Fossa?

By Andy Josiah
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The cranial fossa is a small depression or cavity in the cranium, which is the part of the human skull where the brain is located. There are three types of cranial fossae: the anterior, middle and posterior cranial fossa. These three openings are located at the cranium's base.

Cranial fossae — the plural spelling of cranial fossa — are part of the intracranial cavity, which is the exact space where the brain is located. A system of membranes called meninges line the brain while it floats on a protective, clear, colorless fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The intracranial cavity is formed by the fusion of eight bones: the two parietal and two temporal bones, and the ethmoid, frontal, occipital and sphenoid bones.

The anterior cranial fossa is the frontmost of the cranial fossae. The frontal bone's horizontal plates, the ethmoid bone's cribriform plate, and the sphenoid bone's lesser wings and front section form the floor of the anterior cranial fossa. The anterior hollow is traversed by three sutures, which are fibrous joints only found in the skull. They are the frontoethmoidal suture, which is located behind the ethmoid bone and the frontal bone; the sphenoethmoidal suture, which comes between the sphenoid bone and the ethmoid bone; and the sphenofrontal suture, which is found between the sphenoid bone and the frontal bone.

The middle cranial fossa is separated from the anterior cranial fossa by the sphenoid bone. It is deeper than its frontal counterpart, but becomes narrow in the middle and laterally widens to the skull's sides. The sphenoid bone's lesser wings and the chiasmatic groove, which binds its superior surface, forms most of the fossa's frontal binding. The sphenoparietal, sphenopetrosal, sphenosquamosal and squamosal sutures traverse the middle fossa. This fossa is responsible for supporting the brain's temporal lobes, which form part of the sheet of neural tissue outside the forebrain known as the cerebral cortex.

The posterior cranial fossa is so named because it is the rearmost of the three cranial depressions. It is separated from the middle channel by a depression called the clivus and the part of the temporal bone known as the petrous crest. The occipital bone encloses it from the back, and its walls are formed by portions of the temporal bone. It is responsible for containing the brainstem, particularly the lower half of the brainstem known as the medulla oblongata and the bridge above it called the pons. It also houses the brain's cerebellum.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.