Foramen Magnum

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The foramen magnum is the hole at the base of the cranium the spinal cord runs through to become the medulla oblongata once inside the skull. Anatomically, it is situated in the inferior part of the occipital bone. The vertebral arteries and the accessory nerves also go through the foramen magnum into the cranial cavity. Its location at the center of the bottom of the cranium in human beings is unique among all mammals, indicating our erect posture, with the head well balanced, allowing man to look straight at the horizon. This unique anatomical feature is the result of millions of years of evolution, differentiating us from monkeys and quadruped mammals, whose foramen magnum is towards or at the back of the skull and not at the center.