Occipital bone - Os occipitale
The occipital bone, situated at the back and lower part of the cranium, is trapezoid in shape and curved on itself. It is pierced by a large oval aperture, the foramen magnum, through which the cranial cavity communicates with the vertebral canal. The curved, expanded plate behind the foramen magnum is named the squama; the thick, somewhat quadrilateral piece in front of the foramen is called the basilar part, whilst on either side of the foramen is the lateral portion.
This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).
General Anatomy > Bones; Skeletal system > Axial skeleton > Cranium > Occipital bone