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Styloid process of the temporal
Other Terms: Styloid process of temporal bone, Processus styloideus
This is the thin, pointed process that projects antero-inferiorly from the base of the petrous temporal bone. It can vary in length from a short, stubby process to a slender, four to five centimeter rod. It forms from the cranial elements of the second pharyngeal arch. The tympanic plate of the temporal bone ensheathes the base of this process. The pointed, projecting portion of the process provides attachment to the stylohyoid and stylomandibular ligaments, and to three muscles - the styloglossus, stylohyoid, and stylopharyngeus.
Styloid comes from the Greek stylos meaning pillar. In combination with eidos meaning like, this term literally means a pillar-like process. Process is a term used in anatomy to describe a projection on a bone. It comes from the Latin pro- meaning forward and cessus for gone. It is an old term that can be traced back to the writings of the early anatomist Celsus.