Softshell Turtle

Submitted by Jim on 07/26/2004 at 19:42. ( ) cache-ntc-ac04.proxy.aol.com

Is it possible to preserve the shell of a softshell ? .We caught one on a fishline and it drowned My son wants to keep the shell , But dont know how to preseve it ........ Can the shell be kept together or does it need to be split Any help is appreciated

Jim

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Can't do it traditionally

This response submitted by The Taxidermologist on 07/27/2004 at 11:33. ( ) 147.72.68.109

All of the softshell turtles have large sections of just cartilage and soft tissue. The turtle shells can be skinned out but will shrink up shrivel and warp. The bones inside are not large enough to hold the shape. There is also sometimes fat inside the soft tissue which will leak, then discolor, then smell as it goes rancid.

The best way to preserve the turtle is to make a fluid specimen out of it and keep it in alcohol after pickling in formaldehyde, or to cast the specimen and paint it to real life colors. I doubt even freeze drying would produce a good mount, but I have never heard of one that was done this way. Perhaps others have tried this method.


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