The nasal bones are two small oblong
bone A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various other organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, ...
s, varying in size and form in different individuals; they are placed side by side at the middle and upper part of the face and by their junction, form the
bridge A bridge is a structure built to span a physical obstacle (such as a body of water, valley, road, or rail) without blocking the way underneath. It is constructed for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle, which is usually someth ...
of the upper one third of the
nose A nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which receive and expel air for respiration alongside the mouth. Behind the nose are the olfactory mucosa and the sinuses. Behind the nasal cavity, air next passe ...
. Each has two surfaces and four borders.


The two nasal bones are joined at the midline internasal suture and make up the bridge of the nose.


The ''outer surface'' is concavo-convex from above downward, convex from side to side; it is covered by the procerus and nasalis muscles, and perforated about its center by a foramen, for the transmission of a small
vein Veins are blood vessels in humans and most other animals that carry blood towards the heart. Most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart; exceptions are the pulmonary and umbilical veins, both of which carry oxygenated ...
. The ''inner surface'' is concave from side to side, and is traversed from above downward, by a groove for the passage of a branch of the nasociliary nerve.


The nasal articulates with four bones: two of the cranium, the
frontal Front may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''The Front'' (1943 film), a 1943 Soviet drama film * ''The Front'', 1976 film Music *The Front (band), an American rock band signed to Columbia Records and active in the 1980s and ea ...
and ethmoid, and two of the face, the opposite nasal and the
maxilla The maxilla (plural: ''maxillae'' ) in vertebrates is the upper fixed (not fixed in Neopterygii) bone of the jaw formed from the fusion of two maxillary bones. In humans, the upper jaw includes the hard palate in the front of the mouth. T ...

Other animals

In primitive
bony fish Osteichthyes (), popularly referred to as the bony fish, is a diverse superclass of fish that have skeletons primarily composed of bone tissue. They can be contrasted with the Chondrichthyes, which have skeletons primarily composed of cartil ...
tetrapod Tetrapods (; ) are four-limbed vertebrate animals constituting the superclass Tetrapoda (). It includes extant and extinct amphibians, sauropsids ( reptiles, including dinosaurs and therefore birds) and synapsids ( pelycosaurs, extinct t ...
s, the nasal bones are the most anterior of a set of four paired bones forming the roof of the skull, being followed in sequence by the frontals, the parietals, and the postparietals. Their form in living species is highly variable, depending on the shape of the head, but they generally form the roof of the snout or beak, running from the nostrils to a position short of the orbits. In most animals, they are generally therefore proportionally larger than in humans or great apes, because of the shortened faces of the latter. Turtles, unusually, lack nasal bones, with the
prefrontal bone The prefrontal bone is a bone separating the lacrimal and frontal bones in many tetrapod skulls. It first evolved in the sarcopterygian clade Rhipidistia, which includes lungfish and the Tetrapodomorpha. The prefrontal is found in most mo ...
s of the orbit reaching all the way to the nostrils.

Additional images

Gray153.png, Lateral wall of nasal cavity, showing ethmoid bone in position. Gray155.png, Right nasal bone. Outer surface. Gray156.png, Right nasal bone. Inner surface.

See also

* Vomer * Osteology



External links

* —"Anterior view of skull." * —"Orbits and Eye: Bones" * —"The bones of the lateral nasal wall." * {{Authority control Bones of the head and neck Facial features Nose Flat bones