The jugular fossa is a deep depression in the inferior part of the base of the skull. More specifically, it is located in the temporal bone, posterior to the carotid canal and the aquæductus cochleæ. It is of variable depth and size in different skulls; it lodges the bulb of the internal jugular vein.
In the bony ridge dividing the carotid canal from the jugular fossa is the small inferior tympanic canaliculus for the passage of the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve.
In the lateral part of the jugular fossa is the mastoid canaliculus for the entrance of the auricular branch of the vagus nerve.
Behind the jugular fossa is a quadrilateral area, the jugular surface, covered with cartilage in the fresh state, and articulating with the jugular process of the occipital bone.