From Latinmaxilla (“jaw"), a diminutive of mÄla (“jaw").
It may assume the form of a bivalve shell entirely enclosing the body and limbs, as in many 6, maxilla (second maxilla).
a, Labium; b, maxilla; c, labrum; d, mandible.
Behind it, and freely communicating with it beneath the osseous bridge (the post-orbital process of the frontal) forming the boundary between them, is the small temporal fossa occupying the whole of the side of the cranium proper, and in front is the great flattened expanse of the " cheek," formed chiefly by the maxilla, giving support to the long row of cheek-teeth, and having a prominent ridge running forward from below the orbit for the attachment of the masseter muscle.
Solid as it looks, its weight is inconsiderable, and the perfect hinge by which the maxilla is articulated adds to its efficiency as an instrument of prehension.