Bird skeleton
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Skulls and Skeletons  |  Topic: Bird skeleton « previous next »
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wbd
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« on: September 20, 2010, 11:48:59 AM »

Hi All,

I'll be working on a bird (macaw) skeleton soon and I'm planning to do a small tutorial for those who are interested. I pulled it out the H2O2 yesterday, and it's not completely dry yet, so hopefully I can start tomorrow. There might be some spots with grease, so if that's the case it's going back in the degreaser hehe.

Here some pics of how it is now... Chaos  :P








Pics of step one, organising the chaos, will follow soon...


Walter

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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 11:52:30 AM »

Looks like the skull fell apart too. Lotta work there. For something this intricate, why didn't you use beetles?
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wbd
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 11:59:43 AM »

Jup, skull fell apart too... nothing too bad though. The reason I don't use beetles is because I have none. Plus this is quite a large bird, so there is no real need for it, it looks a lot worse than it actually is. I've done macerated bird skeletons the size of a sparrow without too much hassle. I depends what you're used to I guess.
Bird skulls are not that hard to get back together (well.. most birds that is... some are a pain). I'll put it in the tutorial as well. There's about 4 bones on each side of the skull that have come loose, plus the beak itself.
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Clay.
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 12:35:35 PM »

 :)
Thanks in advance Walter.
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chadcherry
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2010, 10:29:38 PM »

Yep,  you did it.  we all know your NUTS.

LOL  It will be awsome when your finished, can't wait to see.
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wbd
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2010, 09:58:26 AM »

So as promised... (and to prove I'm not THAT nuts :P), organising the chaos. The same skeleton as above, but now sorted out with left and right bones, and bones that go together. This took about 10 minutes, and saves a lot of time later on in the articulation process, especially with the ribs, because if you figure out where one piece goes, you know the other one goes at the same spot, at the contralateral side.



I kept the picture above quite large, so you can zoom in (or at least see some more detail). Since it's quite hard to discuss the pic like this, I added some numbers as shown below:



I'll briefly discuss the different bones first (the numbers), and talk about the dots, arrows where needed.

1: humerus
2: ulna
3: radius
4: carpal (wrist) bones
5: carpometacarpus
6: digits (or what is left of them in a bird wing..)

So bones 1 through 6 make up the wing.

7: scapula
8: coracoid

The scapula and coracoid make up the shoulder joint, together with the humerus of course. The dots besides these bones show the approximate location where thise bones all come together and create a ball and socket joint.

9: femur
10: fibula (the small needle-like bones are what is left of the tibia in birds)
11: tibiotarsus
12: digits

13: sternum. The part of the coracoid marked with an * goes at the part of the sternum marked with an *, thus creating a connection between the shoulder joint and the sternum.
14: forcula (the clavicles that are fused, also called wish bone). The ends of the forcula articulate with the coracoid bone at the level of the shoulder joint. and the ronded side points toward the sternum (and is fused with the sternum in some species).

15: the vertebrae. The first vertebra is markt with a dot, the second one is marked with two dots (they are in the right down side corner of the vertebrae group). Both vertebrae lay with the cranial/anterior part of the vertebra facing upwards here.

16: synsacrum (pelvic bone). The arrow shows where the hip socked is located.

17: the ribs. In birds, the ribs consist of two bony parts (unlike most mammals). The ribs around 17 are the parts that go from the vertebrae to halfway the ribcage, with the part closest to the middle (closest to the number 17) attaching to the vertebrae.
18: ribs, the part going from halfway the ribcage to the sternum. The arrows on the sternum point at the attachment points where these ribs attach to the sternum, thus creating the rib cage.

19: lower jaw
20: cranium (skull)
21: upper beak
22: palate
23: quadrate
24: pterygoid


I just noticed one pair of the 'lower ribs' (18) is actually part of the skull, going at the side, between the beak joint and the upper beak, but that'll sort itself out  :)


So... that's about it I think, hope it helps.
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QBD
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2010, 10:27:02 AM »

WOW!  This is fantastic.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!!!
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A bad day in the woods beats a good day at work anytime.
Puffin
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2010, 11:15:07 AM »

Hi Walter,

A busy fellow, you are.
But as a fanatic skullcollector I must say; you missed the pterygoides.  :o :o
They are laying with the ribbones.
The 2 bones you mentioned are eyebones.
You can allways look at my place where they must glue in the skull. ;)
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wbd
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 11:46:25 AM »

Hi Puffin,

Yeah I noticed when I posted the pictures there was something wrong, you're right... but I least the pterygoides are still there  ;D That makes me a happy man  ;)

Walter
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wbd
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2010, 11:57:00 AM »

Now for the next step I put the sternum between 2 pieces of styrofoam, makes it easier to do the ribcage later on.





the arrows is where the ribs attach... the lines marked with 'C', are where the coracoids attach.


A metal wire is wrapped in white tape, and the vertebrae are put in the correct order. It's not too hard, everything has to have the right 'flow' to it...


top view... doesn't look too bad


side view... they seem to be in the right order...


but........ nothing is what is seems LOL  :P look closely...











In the circle you see a bone growth, that is present on both vertebrae at the same side, indicating these two vertebrae are definately in the right order.
Now, as you might have seen, vertebra 2 and 3 should be switched. One thing that can be seen is the direction of one of the vertebrae processes, it doens't match the other vertebrae. Another thing is the shame and size of the spinous process, that's out of order as well.


to illustrate what I mean with the correct 'flow':


Line 1 goes over the top of the spinous processes. Line 2 goes over the transverse processes, where the neck of the ribs attach (the head of the ribs attach to the vertebrae body). Line 3 goes over the bottom processes of the vertebrae.



general top view of the cranial/anterior part of the vertebrae column


general top view of the caudal/posterior part of the vertebrae column


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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2010, 02:47:32 PM »

Must have been an old bird with the arthritis. Do you know how old it was? Very VERY good pictures.
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wbd
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2010, 03:03:42 PM »

@ Sea Wolf: I have no idea how old it was. I think is might have been a small infection or something since it's only one side of the vertebra that is affected...

Some progress pics... I put part of the vertebrae colum together, and glued the skull (after getting the pterygoids out of the ribs LOL)


vertebrae... notice the curvature


bottom view of the top skull


side view of the top skull


wing bones sorted out... I had to wait till the glue dried, so I sorted those out... more on the wings tomorrow. It's dark here now, so the pics are not as nice as in daylight.
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Sea Wolf
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 03:23:52 PM »

One thing with maceration, you don't get to keep the scleral rings from the eyes. Only bugs work for those with me. Any other method has resulted in mini bone bits that are damn near impossible to put back together. I would assume that the parrots all have these as well as part of the eye structure. Not many mounted skeletons seem to have them. Must be because they are such a b***h to keep together.  :)
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chadcherry
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 06:21:08 PM »

I called you nuts...  Only because I have been there. But I mean that in the nicest of ways.  Your doing an awesome job.  The use of a white wire has helped me on numerous occasions to find out where and what was in the wrong position. 
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wbd
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2010, 05:48:02 AM »

@ Sea Wolf: The scleral rings are often not there indeed, but since I don't have beetles, I guess I'll have to live with that.

@ Chadcherry: Thanks :) and no problem on calling me nuts, it's true LOL  ;D
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