This is one of the tiniest bones in the body. You have two of them, right at the inner corners of your eyes. Where tears come out. (The technical term for crying is lacrimation. You see the resemblance.)

The lacrimal bone is part of the orbital socket. It articulates with four other bones: the frontal, ethmoid, maxilla, and inferior nasal concha.

The lateral or orbital surface is divided into two parts by a crest. One side of the crest forms part of the orbital socket (yes, that's the part touching your eye right now). The front side of the crest has a groove in it. That's the lacrimal sulcus, and it fits with part of the maxilla to form the lacrimal fossa.

That crest ends in a hook, the lacrimal hamulus. It too articulates with the maxilla, forming the upper end of the nasolacrimal canal. Sometimes the hook is a separate bone (that would then be the tiniest bone in your body) and that's called the lesser lacrimal bone.

The medial surface has a long groove on it—the other side of that crest. The back part articulates with the ethmoid bone, and the front part forms part of your nasal cavity.

You will never need to know about this bone. When I studied osteology, it was mentioned and we saw one, but it wasn't on the exam. But I'm glad I know it's there, this little tiny thing named for tears.

If you would like to see one, the drawings from Gray's Anatomy are in the Wikipedia article on the lacrimal bone. A simple Google image search will also turn up several.

Anthropology 451 Osteology at the University of Victoria


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