How Many Bones Make up the Human Skull?

An adult human skull is composed of 22 bones, eight of which are cranial and 14 of which are facial. A newborn has double this amount, but these bones become fused together as the child ages. The mandible is the only bone in the skull that is capable of movement.

Male skulls are more heavily built than female skulls and generally have more prominent brows and wider jaws. The cranial capacity of a female skull is approximately 10 percent less than that of a male's. Some cultures, although rare, practice artificial cranial deformation, where the shape of the cranium is altered through pressured applied by cords or other devices. This practice begins soon after birth and continues throughout childhood until the desired cranial shape is reached.