Friday, September 9, 2016

Target's Animal Skeletons:Anatomical Review

Since 2015, Target has sold various plastic models (designed for decoration) of many creatures, including cats, dogs, alligators, fish, geckoes, and even spiders and scorpions. Yes, you heard me right. They have spider and scorpion skeletons. Here are some images.
Why, Target, why? Spiders don't even have skeletons. THEY'RE INVERTEBRATES, for crying out loud!
Anyway, in this Anatomical Review, we selected the alligator skull and bony fish skeleton because we could say that it's somewhat related to this year's aquatic biology focus since fish are aquatic and alligators are reptiles that prefer to be in water. Anyway, here is a review of how accurate these skeletons are. As in, which bones are in there? Are they in the right spots? Here we are.

Alligator Skull
Reference source from Emporia College. Alligator Skull - Vertebrate Structure and Development. Web. September 9th, 2016.

Let's start with dorsal view, shall we?

Basing it off of Emporia College's beautifully labeled photo of an alligator skull, we were surprised to find that all the bones were there and at least close to being in the right spots. It tested up to our source. Now, for the ventral view.

I think we see a fairly obvious problem here. Sure, at least some of the bones are there, but THE INSIDE IS HOLLOW. We assume this to be for the purpose of it being a fairly good, lightweight decoration and meaning that it can be exposed to water without fear of mold getting inside. But it's still a shocking inaccuracy that wasn't entirely necessary for the product to do what it's designed to do.

The jaw contains the bones that were mentioned and the arrangement and placement of the teeth in the alligator skull is up to par. The bones are there and in the proper place. Overall, aside from the hollow interior, Target's alligator skull is a good decoration and rather spooky for Halloween, but is also fairly accurate in its crocodilian anatomy. 4/5 stars to this! ★★★★ (I looked up how to do a Unicode star.)

Fish Skeleton
Reference Source from Moor Park College. CLASS OSTEICHTHYES - Jawed with bony skeleton - 96% of all fishes. Web. September 9th, 2016.

Most of the bones may be there, but there's one huge and very, very noticeable problem. For purposes of stability of the model and having something for the fins to be going off of, the fish has two spinal cords, one on the top and one on the bottom. This is horribly inaccurate, although it may be necessary for the model. You might want to accuse me of overreacting because it's designed to be a spooky plastic Halloween decoration, but in case you haven't noticed, with toy bugs, models, and all sorts of stuff, a good part of this blog is scientifically overreacting to trivial stuff not designed to be taken seriously. However, the top vertebra is accurate with the ribs going off of it. The jaw is accurate. In general, everything is rather good and well except for the second spinal cord. To this one, I give 3.5 out of a possible 5 Unicode stars.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm not interested in investing in crude oil, but thank you for the positive comment!