Long bones and the cranial base are both formed through endochondral ossification. Elongation of long bones is primarily through the growth plate, which is a cartilaginous structure at the end of long bones made up of chondrocytes. Growth plate chondrocytes are organized in columns along the longitudinal axis of bone growth. The cranial base is the growth center of the neurocranium. Synchondroses, consisting of mirror-image growth plates, are critical for cranial base elongation and development. Over the last decade, considerable progress has been made in determining the roles of the parathyroid hormone-related protein, Indian hedgehog, fibroblast growth factor, bone morphogenetic protein, and Wnt signaling pathways in various aspects of skeletal development. Furthermore, recent evidence indicates the important role of the primary cilia signaling pathway in bone elongation. Here, we review the development of the growth plate and cranial synchondrosis and the regulation by the above-mentioned signaling pathways, highlighting the similarities and differences between these 2 structures. © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2016.