A few weeks ago some water authority folks here in Pennsylvania found a dead "alligator" in one of their creeks. They don't have the money to mount it, so I made them a deal - If they gave me the head (so I could clean the skull), I'd at least try to preserve the skin somehow.
So I got it today and don't think it's an alligator. I think it's a spectacled caiman. It's defrosting right now, and I'm going to start skinning tomorrow. But I have a question.
The books say caimans have pretty much worthless hides, because of the bony belly scales. So I'm just wondering if it's even possible to skin it out like any other reptile. I know it'll probably have bony plated skin on top of the head (like a Gila monster I did last year) and so I probably can't get that skin off. But will I be able to get the skin off the belly?
Any caiman skinning tips appreciated (Tom Voyer, you out there?)
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Sue, skinning and fleshing the caimen is absolutely no different than doing a gator.As for the head, you cannot take the skin off of a crocodilian head. it is all one in the same sort of, the skin is bonded to the bone
Thank you Tom,
We skinned it out today, and it was easier than I thought. But what a lot of meat in the tail... looked like chicken. Anybody ever eat one of those? Does it taste like chicken?