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The mastoid process
is a conical prominence projecting from the undersurface of the mastoid portion of the temporal bone
The mastoid portion of the temporal bone forms the posterior part of the temporal bone.- Surfaces :Its outer surface is rough, and gives attachment to the Occipitalis and Auricularis posterior...
. It is located just behind the external acoustic meatus, and lateral to the styloid process
The styloid process is a pointed piece of bone that extends down from the human skull, just below the ear.-Structure:The styloid process is a slender pointed piece of bone just below the ear...
. Its size and form vary somewhat; it is larger in the male than in the female.
The temporal bone contains another protrusion, the styloid process, located in close proximity to the mastoid process. The styloid process also serves as a point of attachment for muscles and has a distinctive pointed shape akin to that of a stylus, explaining the origins of the name.
This part of the skull projects from the temporal bone and is roughly pyramidal or conical in shape. One important role for this bone is as a point of attachment for several muscles - the splenius capitis, longissimus capitis, digastric posterior belly, and sternocleidomastoid. These muscles are one reason the mastoid process tends to be larger in men, because men have bigger muscles as a general rule and thus require larger points of attachment.