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Choosing a Skeleton

When it comes to choosing the right skeleton to buy, while some will know the exact model they require, for others it can be a daunting choice from the many available. As humans the skeleton serves as the supporting framwork to our body and consists of bones, joints, cartilage and ligaments, as such it can be one of the most complex and difficult areas of human anatomy to study, however the human skeleton models available here are the standard and most effective way to do this. Humans are born with around 350 different bones, but as we grow some of these fuse together to form a single structure, meaning that as adults we have 206 individual bones in our body. As a consequence of this all adult skeleton models are quite complex to make and this should be taken into account when comparing various skeletal models.


If we look first at the classic full size skeleton, generally between 170cm - 180cm tall we will find a large choice of options at widely differing prices, and while budget may ultimately be a deciding factor it is best to first decide what sort of skeleton is best for your needs.


  • Pelvic Mounted Anatomical Skeleton Models At full size we start with 3 options firstly a pelvic mounted sketeton, this is to say the skeleton is supported by a metal rod that rises from the stand base to the pelvis of the skeleton, the upper half of the skeleton then being supported by the spinal column. While this is the lowest cost mounting, many people prefer these pelvic mounted skeletons as they are generally easier to roll around a room, particularly if done with one hand, and can be slightly less prone to damage that hanging skeletons.


    For many people a basic pelvic mounted skeleton is all that is required, there are of course several options available, Budget Full-Size Skeleton MMO 101 comes on a plastic base fitted with 5 casters, while Skeleton model Stan MMO A10 has the benefit of a metal base, again with 5 casters, but is slightly more expensive. We would always recomment a 5 caster base over 4 casters as this adds a lot to the stability of the human skeleton model and makes it far harder for the skeleton to topple over, which could of course cause some damage.





  • Hanging Anatomical Skeleton Models Second option for a full sized skeleton is a hanging mount, this is easily described as the skeleton being suspended from the top of it's head, and swinging loosely from this point. Generally hanging skeletons come on a roller stand like the pelvic mounted ones, and again stands with 5 casters will prove to be more stable than those with 4. Care should always be taken moving a hanging skeleton as they can be prone to swaying, possibly leading to minor damage, we would always suggest using 2 hands and supporting both the stand and the torso of the model as it is moved. Never try to move a hanging sketeton by pulling the arms, legs or even just the torso, this can easily lead to the model falling over and becoming damaged. A good basic hanging skeleton would be Hanging Skeleton Stan MMO A10/1.

    Although a little more expensive than pelvic mounted skeletons the hanging mount is very popular, not least because the model can be completely removed from it's stand and easily placed in any number of postions, it can even be mounted from a wall stand this often makes study and demonstration easier and more fun.

    Because the model is hanging from a stand these skeletons are generally about 10cm taller than the pelvic mounted version due to the stand.

  • Virtually all full sized hanging and pelvic mounted skeletons come with a dust cover, although it is only fair to point out that in the case of the lower priced models this may well be just a larger clear plastic cover. However it is a good idea to protect your valuable investment, and heavy duty covers can be supplied as well.


  • Disarticulated Anatomical Skeleton Models Your third option is a disarticulated skeleton , meaning all the major bones and most of the smaller ones are loose and can be picked up and handled individually. These disarticulated anatomical skeletons come as either half or full human body, both are life size but contain either just one side of the skeleton or both. Disarticulated skeletons are really useful for the study of individual bones and are often the choice of those suudying forensics or physiotherapy.

    With loose bones the disarticulated skeleton takes up a lot less room than either hanging or pelvic mounted models, they usually come in a sturdy cardboard box which can also be used for storage, but if you are looking for something a little more robust then there are a wide selection of plastic toolboxes available from DIY and trade stores that are most suitable, remember to get a large one though it needs to accommodate the long bones and a skull.




It is also important to consider what if any additional features you require besides the basic bones of your skeleton. Models are available with muscle insertion and origins colour marked, MMO A11 Skeleton Max is a great example of this type. Ligaments can be added as seen here on MMO A12 Skeleton Leo or of course a combination of both as featured on MMO A13 Skeleton Sam. Also worth considering is the amount of flexibility you need the skeleton to have, MMO A15 Skeleton Fred for instance has a very flexible spinal column which may well be useful to physiotherapists and chiropractors.


Of course there are other variables to consider too, you can have a smaller skeleton, at around 85cm tall the half size skeletons are very popular, some are available with a hanging mount but the majority are pelvic mounted. These models are useful where space becomes an issue and are best placed on a table or desk for study, again a variety of different features such as spinal nerves and/or blood vessels can be found in differnt versions. As a general rule the more expensive models will have more bone detail and stronger joints.


Finally there is the smallest option of a desk top skeleton at around 42cm tall the most popular model Desk Skeleton MMO 103 sells for under £30.00. Quite obviously there cannot be as much detail in such a small model as there is in the larger ones, but it can be very useful to quickly point out anatomy details to patients in surgery or clinic settings, further it can be used by younger students to stir their curiosity and answer basic questions.


Whatever skeleton you choose please be assured that here at Medical Skeletons and Medical Models Online Limited we will endeavour to help in that process by offering sound advice and guidance wherever possible. Please feel free to email or call 01460 200111.

A skeleton well looked after will last for years and be a very good investment.


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