One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The squamous portion of the temporal bone, especially when this forms a separate bone which, in mammals, articulates with the lower jaw.
- ‘In syanapsids, a secondary jaw joint develops between the surangular and the squamosal, which becomes the unique mammalian jaw articulation.’
- ‘The posterior part of each alisphenoid forms a triangular process which fits into the angle between the squamosal and the petrosal.’
- ‘It may also articulate with various dermal bones of the roof or sides of the skull for support, normally the squamosal and parietal.’
- ‘The squamosals and parietals may also be somewhat pitted.’
- ‘In humans, the otic capsule has fused with the squamosal and various other odds and ends to form the temporal bone.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin squamosus (from squama ‘scale’) + -al.
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