- That part of the skull derived from the embryonic pharyngeal arches; it comprises the facial bones of the facial skeleton (under bone) and is distinct from that part of the skull which forms the neurocranium or braincase. SYN: facial skeleton, cranium viscerale, visceral cranium, jaw skeleton, splanchnocranium. [viscero- + cranium]- membranous v. components of v. that do not arise from a cartilagenous precursor; most of the mandible is a membrane bone, developing around and not from the first pharyngeal arch cartilage.
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* * *vis·cero·cra·ni·um (vis″ər-o-kraґne-əm) [viscero- + cranium] [TA] the parts of the cranium that are derived from the branchial (or pharyngeal) arches and comprise the bones of the face; cf. neurocranium. Called also splanchnocranium and visceral cranium.
Viscerocranium, comprising the membranous viscerocranium (gray) and cartilaginous viscerocranium (red).
Medical dictionary. 2011.