COMPARING THE HUMAN SKULL TO THAT OF OTHER VERTEBRATES: THE TEMPORAL BONE

human skullhuman skull

The human temporal bones form part of the cranium which protects the brain. It includes squamosal and petrous regions, holes (foramina) for the passage of nerves and blood vessels (such as the carotid and jugular foramina), a mastoid process for neck muscle attachment, a styloid process to support the hyoid bone, and external openings and cavities of the ear. Do other vertebrates possess temporal bones in their skulls (or separate squamosal and petrosal bones)? If so, what are the similarities or differences? Is there any feature which specifically adapts thes bones for the human condition? (You may click on the images to enlarge them.)

Skulls of frog and salamader:

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Turtle and opossum skulls:

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Cat and lemur skulls

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Howler and Rhesus monkey skulls

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Rhesus monkey skulls

 

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gibbon skull

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bonobo chimp skull

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WHAT SPECIFIC SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES DID YOU NOTICE BETWEEN THE HUMAN STRUCTURES AND THOSE OF OTHER VERTEBRATES? HOW DO THESE STRUCTURAL SIMILARITIES/DIFFERENCES COMPARE TO SIMILARITIES/DIFFERENCES IN LIFESTYLE? WHAT MAKES HUMANS UNIQUE? WHAT RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ORGANISMS DO YOU FEEL ARE SUPPORTED BY YOUR COMPARISONS OF THEIR FEATURES? WHAT FEATURES DO YOU FEEL DEFINE A PARTICULAR GROUP?
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