Full Temporal Bone Description
[Continued from above] . . . gap, the external auditory meatus, which leads inward to parts of the ear. The temporal bones house the internal structures of the ear and have depressions, the mandibular fossae, which join the processes of the mandible. Below each external auditory meatus, there are two projections: a rounded mastoid process and a long, pointed styloid process. The mastoid process provides an attachment for certain muscles of the neck, while the styloid process serves as an anchorage for muscles associated with the tongue and pharynx. The mastoid foramen is a prominent opening in the temporal bone, which is located behind (or posterior) to the mastoid process. Generally, it provides the opening through which a vein and artery pass. A zygomatic process projects from the front of the temporal bone in the region of the external auditory meatus. It joins the zygomatic bone and helps form the prominence of the cheek.