Difference Wiki

Skull vs. Cranium: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 20, 2023
The skull is the bony structure of the head, while the cranium is the part that encloses the brain.

Key Differences

The skull is a complex structure, comprising 22 bones in total. It serves as the framework for the face and contains cavities for the brain, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. On the other hand, the cranium specifically refers to the part of the skull that envelops and protects the brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
When we discuss the skull, we're often referring to both facial bones and the bones of the cranium. The facial bones are those that give shape to the face, such as the cheekbones and jaw. The cranium, though, doesn't include these facial bones; it is solely focused on the brain's protective case.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
The skull's primary function is to offer a hard casing for the brain and facial features, safeguarding them from injury. In contrast, the cranium's main role is the vital job of enclosing the brain, providing a defense against external forces.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
The word "skull" can also be used in a broader sense, representing the whole bony frame of the head, including the jawbone. The cranium, however, always denotes the upper part of the skull, excluding the mandible or jawbone.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023
In forensic studies, anthropology, and archaeology, the analysis of the skull provides clues about age, sex, and sometimes race or ethnicity. The cranium, in these disciplines, is essential for studying brain development, shape, and size over evolutionary periods or within specific populations.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

The bony structure of the head, including facial bones.
The part of the skull that surrounds and protects the brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Components

Comprises 22 bones, both facial and cranium.
Consists of 8 bones.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Inclusion of Jaw

Includes the mandible (jawbone).
Does not include the mandible.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Broader Usage

Can refer to the entire head's bony structure.
Specifically refers to the upper part of the skull.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Function

Provides support for facial features and protection for brain and sensory organs.
Solely protects the brain from external injury.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
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Skull and Cranium Definitions

Skull

The bony framework of the head.
She fractured her skull in the accident.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

Cranium

The upper part of the skull that encloses the brain.
The cranium is essential for protecting our brain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

Skull

A protective casing for the brain and sensory organs.
He wore a helmet to protect his skull during the bike race.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

Cranium

The set of eight bones that form the brain's case.
In anatomy class, they learned about the different bones that make up the cranium.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Skull

The entirety of bones comprising the head's structure.
The museum displayed a human skull next to a primate's.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Cranium

The bony structure surrounding the brain, excluding the jaw.
She was fascinated by the shape of the cranium in different species.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Skull

A representation or model of the head's bony structure.
The art class used a plastic skull for their drawing exercise.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Cranium

A protective case solely for the brain.
Helmets are designed to provide extra protection for the cranium.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Skull

The head as a symbol of death or danger.
Pirates often use a skull and crossbones on their flags.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Cranium

The part of the skull studied for brain development analysis.
Anthropologists often examine the cranium to understand human evolution.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Skull

The bony or cartilaginous framework that encloses and protects the brain and sense organs of all vertebrates and of one group of nonvertebrates (the hagfishes); cranium.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 04, 2019

Cranium

The skull.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 04, 2019

Skull

(Informal)The head, regarded as the seat of thought or intelligence
Use your skull and solve the problem.
Sumera Saeed
Sep 04, 2019

FAQs

Does the cranium include the jawbone?

No, the cranium does not include the jawbone; that's part of the skull but outside the cranium.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

What is the skull?

The skull is the bony structure of the head, encompassing both the cranium and facial bones.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

How many bones are in the cranium?

The cranium consists of 8 bones.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Are the terms skull and cranium interchangeable?

Not exactly. While all cranial bones are part of the skull, not all skull bones are part of the cranium.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

Can the word "skull" refer to a symbol?

Yes, the skull can symbolize death or danger, as in the skull and crossbones.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Is the cranium involved in forensic investigations?

Yes, the cranium can provide insights into cause of death, age, and identity in forensics.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

How many bones make up the skull?

The skull is made up of 22 bones in total.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

What is the cranium?

The cranium is the upper part of the skull that specifically encloses and protects the brain.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

Is the skull only associated with humans?

No, many vertebrates, including animals, have skulls.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Why is the cranium important?

The cranium protects the brain from external injury.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

What's the role of the skull in anthropology?

In anthropology, the skull provides insights about age, sex, race, and evolutionary patterns.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Do the skull and cranium have different functions?

Yes, while the skull supports and protects both the brain and facial features, the cranium specifically safeguards the brain.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

Which is more robust, the skull or the cranium?

Both are sturdy, but the cranium has a particular thickness to protect the brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

How does the cranium change as we grow?

The cranium expands as the brain grows, especially during early childhood, and then its growth slows.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Can skull shape differ among individuals?

Yes, skull shapes can vary based on genetics, ethnicity, and other factors.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

What is the relationship between the skull and the brain?

The skull, especially the cranium, serves as a protective case for the brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Do all animals have a cranium?

Not all, but many vertebrates have a cranium to protect their brains.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Can injuries to the skull affect the cranium?

Yes, injuries to the skull can potentially damage the cranium and thereby the brain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023

Where can I find the cranium in the skull?

The cranium is the upper part of the skull, excluding the jaw.
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Why is the skull often studied in anatomy classes?

The skull, including the cranium, provides insights into human evolution, development, and anatomy.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 20, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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