What bone forms the back of the human head or skull?
The human skull is the part of the skeleton that supports the structure of the face and forms a cavity for the brain. The occipital bone is the trapezoid-shaped bone at the lower-back of the cranium (skull). The occipital bone houses the back part of the brain and is one of the seven bones that come together to form the skull. It is located next to five cranium bones.
As the person ages, their occipital bones will fuse to the other bones of their skull. Sphenoid bone, which is located in the middle of your skull, will fuse with the occipital bone between the ages of 18 and 25. Then, between the ages of 26 and 40, the parietal bones at the top of the head and occipital bone will fuse together. At the base of the skull, there is a large oval opening in the occipital bone that is called the foramen magnum. This allows for passage of the spinal cord. The occipital bone is the only cranial bone to connect to the cervical spine. It has many important functions, but its most important role is protecting the brain. Specifically, it protects the brain's visual processing center.
As the occipital bone connects with the first vertebra- the area called the atlas- it forms a joint. This junction helps to nod and shake head through out the day. The atlas is also a direct link between the spine and skull. Because of its location, the occipital bone affects all body's movements, stability, and balance. It also plays a part and interact with the world.