Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles - Set of 7 is by far one of the coolest educational resources on the Timberdoodle website! Several of the jigsaw puzzles are used as part of the Timberdoodle Science curriculum kits. The Human Head ~ Puzzle I of VII is part of the 6th Grade Curriculum Kit. For the older student, in the 11th Grade Curriculum Kit, The Human Thorax ~ Puzzle II of VII is used. Once all seven puzzles are fully assembled it will make a 10ft human. The puzzles are 100% medically accurate and are incredibly detailed. They reveal the inner workings of the human anatomy by displaying a crosscut section of each working part of the human body. The puzzles are not only fun to put together but are a great way for students to learn anatomy. When you open the box, each puzzle contains an illustrated and labeled diagram. The recommended age for these puzzles is 14 and older. With that said, my 13-year-old worked on the puzzles and was learning right along with her older siblings. Just a fair warning: this blog post is quite long with pictures and writing. I guarantee it will be worth your time! Remember, it covers SEVEN puzzles!
The puzzles are illustrated by Mesa Schumacher who is a certified Medical and Biological Illustrator. She received her Master's degree in Medical Illustration from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Schumacher also has degrees from the University of Washington and Stanford University. She has also studied Fine Arts a GAGE Academy in Seattle. She has a passion for creating, storytelling images, drawing, and animating.
My 18-year-old daughter did the majority of putting these puzzles together. She did receive help from her siblings throughout the process. Since my daughter was the main person interlocking all of the various veins, vessels, ligaments, marrow, intestine, and organs I thought it was only fitting to have her help me write this review. I want to thank her for her contribution to this review. Thank you Karis. My daughter's first impressions and thought's about these puzzles were, "I have always been a puzzler, so when my mom told me that we would be getting Dr. Livingston’s Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles, I was beyond excited because who wouldn't want to go all Dr. Frankenstein on a 10 foot long anatomy puzzle? After the initial excitement, there was a small feeling of apprehension just looking at the intricacy of the puzzles. I decided I would just have to wait for the puzzles to arrive to see who would win: Dr. Frankenstein or the monster."
About the thorax my daughter said, "Moving on to the thorax. My sister and I obviously start with the edges, but then gravitate toward different parts of the puzzles. What’s great about working on this puzzle in a team is the learning experience. We started out by pointing out where we were working on the box to show each other what pieces we needed, but eventually started saying the proper names for everything. Never in my life did I ever think I would ask my sister if she had found any pieces of the septum while working on a puzzle. When doing this puzzle, it is hard not to appreciate the art work that went into making this puzzle: the shading, the minute detailing of the muscles, the texturing of the Inferior vena cava, etc. This puzzle also showed me that my whole life is a lie because I always thought that both of my lungs were the same. Now, I see how much more complex my left lung is than my right."
About the right arm, my daughter said, "The right arm is ready for his long awaited turn. The fact that the human body has two arms gives us the chance to look at the musculature and the skeletal structures of the arms separately without getting overwhelmed. The right arm is clearly focused on the musculature point of view. To jump right in, I find it immensely interesting how the cephalic vein starts at the top of the arm forked in two and makes its way down the arm, branching off into more and more independent segments. These veins then intertwine with the nerves and arteries in the hand. Notice how the same system goes for the median nerve which then serpentines to each finger. This puzzle shows how complex the relationship between the muscles and the tendons are. Looking closely, they almost meld into each other, enabling us to do even the simplest acts. The design of this section of the puzzle is undoubtedly done after extensive research, and helps those who are doing the puzzles to appreciate the human body that much more, while easily learning about it."
While observing the left arm my daughter said, "The left arm seems to be up next, which covers the skeletal structure of the arm. The first aspect of this puzzle that I would like to draw your attention to are the nerves. They fork out, under, and over. These nerves are responsible for carrying messages from the brain to parts along the arm for movement, feeling and reflexes. Try to remember an instance in which you were stuck or hit by something that caused you to pull away without thinking. Maybe you accidentally stuck yourself with a thumbtack. The reason you don’t have to think about pulling away is because these nerves already sent a message to your brain, telling your arm to do so. My man here might not be alive anymore, but he’s still got those nerves. Next, look at the bones in this puzzle, connected by ball and socket joints and hinge joints. The amazing design of the human body allows us to have physical dexterity, and the outstanding design of this puzzle allows us to overlook it all."
About the right leg my daughter said, "Right leg hopping up to plate. We’re back to musculature right sides. Before I mention anything else, tell my man here ain’t thicc. If I had to guess, he never skipped leg day at the gym. The human body was designed to be supported by your legs, making it understandable why we need a great degree of muscles in our legs. Not only do these muscles have to support you, but they also have to provide a means of locomotion. This is where the tendons come into play. Tendons are dense fibrous tissues that bind the muscle to the bone. When muscle contracts, the tendon pulls on the bone, causing movement. Also, a tendon’s contribution to joint stability could not be done without. That is why there are tendons surrounding the patella bone. High School A&P knowledge plus Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzle equals higher understanding of the human body."
For the seventh and last puzzle my daughter said, "Lastly, we have the left leg that covers the skeletal structure of the leg. When you think skeleton, you think bone, not veins and arteries. Here we are, though, seeing the femoral vein and femoral artery fully attached to the femur. To give a short summary as to why you are seeing these veins and arteries: The femoral arteries deliver oxygenated blood to the leg, along with the anterior tibial artery. Meanwhile, the femoral vein and anterior tibial vein drain the leg, knee, ankle, and tibiofibular joints. I have not gone into nearly enough depth for someone to be able to understand all the features in this puzzle , but I think I have explained enough to make it understood that the skeleton is not all bone. This puzzle has definitely illustrated this wonderfully."