human skeleton model – Fred the Flexible

Flexible Skeleton Model Fred, or Fred the Flexible as we call him, is one the few human skeleton models on our list with flexible joints throughout its body. This is an ideal model for demonstrating the body’s styles of movement, along with correct and incorrect posture. For its ability to demonstrate a range of postural problems, Fred the Flexible could easily be a yoga teacher as well as an anatomy model, earning this bag of bones our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award. Fred may not be the best choice for students or pre-college educators because this model lacks numbered and labeled parts. This makes Fred a more suitable model for clinical use by practicing professionals who already know anatomy and physiology inside and out.

Skeleton Essentials

Along with the 200 individually cast bones, Flexible Fred’s vertebral arteries and nerve branches are marked with rubber wire. The yellow wire runs from the coccyx and meets with the artery at the shoulders. Both rubber markers run to the base of the model’s skull. For more realism, Fred also features a dorsolateral slipped disc between the third and fourth lumbar vertebrae.

We like seeing this feature in skeleton models for all education levels. Pre-med students can learn what the common ailment looks like on a life-size model while doctors can show patients an example of how their own ailment looks. In addition, Fred has individually inserted teeth, providing a more accurate replica of the skeletal structure of the mouth than models in which the teeth are cast as part of the mandible. Unfortunately, these teeth aren’t removable for close inspection.

Flexible Fred’s defining feature is (you guessed it) his flexibility. All of Fred’s joints, including both hands and a foot have range of motion. Flexible hands and feet are especially rare in human skeleton models. Typically, wires run through the metacarpals and phalanges. Fred’s hands are wired only at the carpals, giving the hands a more flexible range of motion. But keep in mind, Fred’s flexible hands and foot also mean that he is more fragile than other skeletons.

Fred is best for chiropractic study because of the bendable and poseable spine. Like real skeletons, Fred’s spine can bend in all directions to simulate natural human range of motion. Once flexed, Fred’s spine holds its position, making this skeleton ideal for demonstrating effects of disc ailments and correct or incorrect posture. Additionally, the calvarium comes apart in three pieces to allow observation of the interior skull structure. The seams in the calvarium represent the part of the skull that hasn’t yet fused together in newborn babies. Because Fred is an adult skeleton, these fusions are represented by a series of zigzag lines across the skull.

Flexible Fred is designed as a demonstration piece, rather than a self-sustained educational tool. Fred is best suited for use in a clinical setting because you can demonstrate posture problems. While numbered parts are useful for quizzing students, Fred does not have labeled parts and does not come with a bone guide or any other written materials.

Anatomical Details

Some initial assembly is required to put Fred together. You only need to attach the arms and legs and you can easily detach them for closer examination. The pins attaching Fred’s limbs are composed of a simple bolt and lock. Many models have removable parts, but require a screwdriver for any closer study. The durable roller stand takes more work to assemble than the 200-bone skeleton. The stand comes with four wheels and holder pin. The stand pole screws into the metal shaft near Fred’s coccyx and attaches to the roller section of the stand. Additionally, you’ll have to connect the tibia and femur in one of Fred’s legs.

Like most skeleton models available, Fred is a cast of a male skeleton. Male skeletons typically have larger bones and more pronounced features, making them easier to study and use in demonstrations. Standing 69.5 inches and weighing 21 pounds, this skeleton meets a realistic weight for a real person of Fred’s stature. According to the manufacturer, the plastic used to cast Fred’s bones is unbreakable. But just in case, 3B Scientific provides a three-year warranty upon purchasing this model.

Flexible Skeleton Model Fred is the only model on our list with a spine that holds its position when bent, making this the best model for demonstrating postures. Thus, this skeleton model is a good choice for a doctor’s office. Teachers and students are at a disadvantage because the model lacks numbered parts and articulated muscle structures.