HEAD 251 Skull.—Fractures of the skull are sometimes caused without any contu- sion or wound on the scalp, though there may be extravasation of blood on its undersurface. During free lathi fights the skull is sometimes smashed into several pieces, as if it was a coconut shell. Thus, in a case where a man, 35 years old, was struck with lathi blows, there was a comminuted fracture of the frontal, left parietal and temporal bones and of the occipital bone The base of the skull was fractured in the left anterior, middle and posterior fossse. In another case where a woman, 40 years old, was murdered with lathi blows, there were comminuted fractures of the left temporal, parietal and frontal bones, and a simple fracture of the right temporal bone. There was also sepa- ration of the right parietal and temporal sutures, with comminuted fractures of the middle and posterior fossae of the base of the skull. Fig. 114.—Fissured fracture. This skull bone was removed with other bones from a blind well. The varieties of the fractures of the skull that are usually met with are fissured, partial- (outer or inner table, though the inner table is more com- monly fractured), stellate or radiating, depressed, elevated, punctured and comminuted. These varieties are combined in many cases. Sometimes the sutures are separated with or without fracture. The temporal bone and the orbital plate of the frontal bone are easily fractured. In old age the bones become thin, brittle, and are more fragile. Vault—Fracture of the vault occurs at the place of contact by direct violence or at its opposite side by contre-coup (counter side), when the head is not supported. An extensive fracture running parallel to the two points of contact (burst- ing fracture) will occur, if mecha- nical force is applied on one side of the head, when it is pressed on the other side against a hard substance, such as a wall, while the individual is standing, or against the hard ground or floor when he is in a lying posture. In such.c the fracture may extend 1 versely even to the "base skull. Fig. 115.—Localized depressed fracture of skull bone caused by a mallet.