|.||What is Taxidermy?|
Taxidermy is a general term describingthe many methods of reproducing a life-like three-dimensional representationof an animal for permanent display. In some cases, the actual skin (includingthe fur, feathers or scales) of the specimen is preserved and mounted overan artificial armature. In other cases, the specimen is reproduced completelywith man-made materials.
The word "taxidermy" isderived from two ancient Greek words; taxis, meaning movement; andderma, meaning skin. Therefore, loosely translated, taxidermy meansthe movement of skin. This is a fairly appropriate definition as many taxidermyprocedures involve removing the natural skin from the specimen, replacingthis skin over an artificial body, and adjusting the skin until it appearslifelike.
Themodern practice of taxidermy incorporates many crafts, such as carpentry,woodworking, tanning, molding and casting; but it also requires artistictalent, including the art of sculpture, painting and drawing. In a moderndeer head mount, for example, the only natural parts of the animal usedare the antlers and the skin. All of the other organs and tissues are recreatedwith man-made materials. The eyes are made from glass, the eyelids aresculpted from clay, the soft tissues of the nose and mouth are sculptedfrom epoxy or wax, and the mannikin or "form" (which incorporatesthe anatomy of each muscle and vein) is made from polyurethane foam.
Today,some taxidermy mounts (most notably saltwater fish) do not contain anyparts of the animal at all. They are completely re-created from man-madematerials. This is ideal for catch-and-release anglers, who can releasetheir gamefish unharmed, and can still have a life-sized trophy producedfrom a good color photo and measurements.
Works of taxidermy are displayedin museums, educational institutions, businesses, restaurants, and homes.There are many different methods for producing mounts (or re-creations)of different species. For an overview of the methods commonly used in thetaxidermy of a particular specimen, choose from the following links:
Taxidermy Schools | TaxidermyWorkshops | Taxidermy Magazines
© 2005-2006 WASCOManufacturing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.This page last updated 08/13/06.