Temporal bone

The temporal bone is situated on the sides and the base of the cranium and lateral to the temporal lobe of the cerebrum. The temporal bone is one of the most important calvarial and skull base bones. 

Gross anatomy

The temporal bone is very complex and consists of five parts 1,2:

Some anatomists describe only 4 parts of the temporal bone, with the mastoid and petrous parts combined as a petromastoid part 3.

The temporal bone can also be divided into otologic zones:


There are four intrinsic fissures between the divisions of the temporal bone 4,5:

There are many named extrinsic fissures between the temporal bone and other cranial bones 4,5:

Anatomy: Head and neck

Anatomy: Head and neck

Article information

rID: 28310
System: Head & Neck
Section: Anatomy
Tags: refs, pm, pm, case, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Temporal bone anatomy
  • T-bone anatomy

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: temporal bone divisions (CT anatomy)
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  • Figure 2: diagram - skull and facial bones
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  • Figure 3: diagram - medial temporal bone
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  • Figure 4: normal petrous temporal bone axial CT
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