At JonsBones, we are happy to help with any bone-related need you may have. But what if you need every bone? That’s what full skeletons are for! 

Whether you are an educator, an artist, or a collector, a fully articulated skeleton can provide information about how the human body operates that one cannot glean from individual bones. 

The average adult body contains 206 bones, most of them in the hands and feet. An articulated skeleton contains most of these bones, except for occasionally the hyoid bone or the full coccyx bone. These bones are usually originally included in an articulated skeleton but due to their small size and fragile nature might become detached and lost over the years. 

Some skeletons feature paintings of muscle groups and tendons, much like an explanatory skull. These paintings assist with understanding how the musculature connects to and assists the skeletal structure in movement. Some skeletons also label the bones themselves, for easy identification.

Full skeletal articulations are much like skull articulations; the hardware used can help identify the time period the skeleton is from. As technology changed, so did the way skeletons were articulated. The cartilage of the ribs, the disks of the spine, the springs of the jaw, the wire used to connect bones, all of these can give us insight into the age of a skeleton from the medical industry. Just because a skeleton is from an earlier time period doesn’t mean that the workmanship is subpar! Preferences for certain materials go in and out of fashion, regardless of utility. An early articulation might feature original cartilage and brass hardware, while a newer one might have stainless steel hardware and molded leather replacement cartilage. Neither of these skeletons is better than the other, they just demonstrate the shifting attitudes towards materiality held by designers and craftsmen of the day. 

Full skeletons are a worthwhile investment for anyone seriously trying to understand the human body. They are increasingly hard to find, due to sellers breaking up the pieces for individual sale to cater to the preferences of their clients. As a result, complete skeletons are a growing rarity. Whether you want to see how bones move together or understand the way our bodies are formed, full skeletons might be the right choice for you! If you are interested in purchasing your own full skeleton, you can find them under the Articulations section of our website!