We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Pterion?

By J. Finnegan
Updated Feb 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The pterion is a meeting point of several bones in the human skull. It encompasses the area around the sphenoparietal suture. It's found on either side of the head in what is considered the temple region. It's not visible to the naked eye, nor can it be felt through touch.

There are four bones of the skull that come together to form the pterion: the frontal bone, the parietal bone, the greater wing of the sphenoid bone and the squamous part of the temporal bone. The frontal bone is located at the front of the head in the region often called the forehead. Part of this bone comes down into the face. It's called the zygomatic process, and it forms part of the bony ridge of the eye socket and the bony protrusion of the cheek, often called the cheekbone. The zygomatic process is actually a convergence of three bones: the frontal bone; the maxilla, or jawbone; and the temporal bone.

The temporal bone is located on the side of the head and is made up of four parts. Its squamous part joins to the parietal bone, which sits above it and forms the top of the head. The sphenoid bone sits in front of the temporal bone and joins with the parietal bone and the squamous temporal at the alisphenoid, also known as the greater wing of the sphenoid.

The pterion is considered the weakest part of the skull, and a blow to it can rupture the major artery that runs beneath it. The middle meningeal artery runs directly underneath the pterion, and it's a part of the maxillary artery, which is, itself, a major branch of the external carotid artery — a main artery of the neck and head. The middle meningeal artery branches away from the maxillary artery and supplies blood to the outer meninges, which are membranes that cover the brain.

There are three meningeal arteries that supply the meninges with blood: the posterior, the anterior and the middle. The middle one is the largest of the three, and rupturing this artery causes a kind of traumatic brain injury called an epidural hematoma or extradural hematoma. The terms "epidural" and "extradural" both refer to the dura mater, or the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord, also called the meninges. There are three layers of meninges: the dura mater, the pia mater and the arachnoid. The dura mater is the outermost layer of tissue.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Kat919 — On Oct 19, 2011

I read the craziest news story recently. We all know that babies are born with the bones of their skull separated, and that these bones fuse over time, leaving behind sutures like the pterion. The shifting bones allow the baby to fit through the birth canal.

Well, a baby was born. He seemed healthy enough, but he had had to be delivered by C-section. Doctors said his head was too big for his mother's pelvis, which historically has been really, really rare.

At his two-month checkup, the pediatrician noticed that his head just didn't look right. Turns out he had been born with all the bones in his skull prematurely fused! His brain didn't have room to grow. He received surgery and wore one of those special helmets for a while and is expected to develop normally from now on.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.