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.
The temporal bone is very complex and consists of five parts :
Some anatomists describe only 4 parts of the temporal bone, with the mastoid and petrous parts combined as a petromastoid part .
The temporal bone can also be divided into otologic zones:
- the medial third of the external auditory canal (part of the external ear)
- middle ear (tympanic cavity)
- inner ear
- internal auditory canal
There are four intrinsic fissures between the divisions of the temporal bone :
There are many named extrinsic fissures between the temporal bone and other cranial bones :