The temporal bone of the skull is found underneath the temple, in the lower portion of the side of the skull. It consists of five individual pieces, the highest of which is the squamous part. This very thin portion of bone, flat and scaly in appearance, provides a point of attachment for the temporalis muscles
The petromastoid portion makes up the posterior of the full temporal bone and includes both the mastoid and petrous parts. The latter is the hardest portion of the temporal bone and serves to protect the inner ear, while the mastoid serves as an attachment point to the muscles of the outer ear. This portion of bone also includes small holes that allow nerves and blood vessels to pass through into the skull.
The styloid process, located under the auditory opening, provides additional attachment spots for ligaments and muscles. The tympanic part, meanwhile, surrounds the auditory opening and attaches to the cartilage of the external ear.