One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A wing-like cartilaginous bone within a mammal's skull forming part of the socket of the eye.
- ‘The bullae are sometimes not ossified, and when they are, they are formed largely by extensions from the alisphenoid.’
- ‘The outer wall of the braincase becomes the alisphenoid and the dermal skull bones.’
- ‘There is, however, an ectotympanic, and the pterygoids and alisphenoids are swollen, forming a sort of inflated bullae.’
- ‘Posteromedial to the glenoid surface, the foramen ovale opens in the alisphenoid.’
- ‘As a reminder, the pterygoid is a dermal bone; and the alisphenoid is retreaded epipterygoid which traces its ultimate origin to the palatoquadrate and the gill arch series.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin ala ‘wing’ + sphenoid.
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