EM skull question

Submitted by Jon S on 3/4/05 at 7:39 AM. ( )

I am macerating a deer skull. It's been a while and most of the flesh is now off the skull. Should I leave the skull in there until the teeth fall out? They are loose, but I can't pull them out yet.

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Take the skull out

This response submitted by Evelyn on 3/4/05 at 9:18 AM. ( )

The teeth on deerskull in general do not fall out unless you over macerate it. If all the meat comes off easy, take the skull out and rinse it off with clean water. Let it sit in the sun for about a week, and then either bleach it or leave it as it is.

2cd opinion

This response submitted by PA on 3/4/05 at 6:47 PM. ( )

Thorough maceration is needed to remove the fat from within the bone or it will leak out with time (at least part of the time). After bugging a deer skull I always macerate rather than use other methods of degreasing which frankly, I don't think work - at least in all trials I have done.

My maceration continues in an incubator at 40 degrees C, with changes of water at 2 days, 3 additional days, then once a week until no discoloration of the water solution occurs and no mold or bacteria appear on the surface. The jaw sides split and the lower incisors always come out. Often on juvenile deer the nasal bones and premaxillaries also fall off but are glued back. After maceration I soak in a couple changes of ammonia from the grocery store and finally finish with a very low concentration of hydrogen peroxide. This method will guarentee that museum quality skulls are produced.

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