Human skeleton models are useful tools for learning the structure of the human body, and many models include information beyond bones like muscle origins, major tendons and some of the body’s movements.
We compared the models on our list in several areas, including the skeleton details, flexible and removable parts and accompanied learning materials. For informational purposes, we’ve also given some basic specifications including height, gender, model material and required assembly.
In this section we provide details about what information is represented in each model. In addition to skeletal structure, some of our models include components representing muscles, tendons, nerve branches and movement. Some models have numbered parts and come with an identification guide, making them particularly useful for educational applications.
Although we gave higher ratings to models that featured more details, this rating does not necessarily mean one product is better than another. When choosing between our top rated models, keep in mind that different models are appropriate for different uses. For example, the lowest-rated model Physiological Phil is more appropriate for physical therapy applications than the higher-rated model Mr. Bucky Numbered Skeleton Model. Likewise, the Deluxe Adult Female Skeleton offers a more realistic study of bone structure than the highest rated model, Super Skeleton Model Sam.
In this section we list the flexible parts of each skeleton. Because the bones in a real human body are held together by a slew of connective materials, it is tricky to create a bones-only model that mimics natural movements. Most human skeleton models are held together with metal pins, which can provide some range of motion but cannot replicate the natural style of movement offered by a network of muscles and tendons. Thus, the Life Size Human Skeleton model, while not one of the most detailed models on our list, got high ratings for its flexible parts even though the flexibility does not mimic natural human movement. Some of the models on our list utilize rubber bands and other flexible materials to allow for skeletal movement more representative of the actual physical structure of the human body.
Next we list each model’s removable parts. Most of the models on our list have removable arms and legs (these parts typically have to be initially assembled and/or attached after you receive your model). All the models on our list also have a removable calvarium, commonly known as the “skull cap,” which is actually made up of four different bones. The inside of the calvarium shows ridges and indentations where the brain and nervous system are connected, and by removing this piece you can observe the various connective areas inside the skull including the area below the brain.
Finally, we listed the educational materials that accompany each model, including a guide to the bones, more detailed bone information and non-skeletal anatomy information.
Human skeleton models are fixtures in many science classrooms, from middle school to the most advanced medical school settings. They are also useful for doctors and physical therapists who want to demonstrate medical principles, structures and disorders to their patients. As a bonus, they can be dressed up for the holidays!
For more information, check out our articles on the human skeleton model in the TopTenREVIEWS' Learning Center. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™