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Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sea Wolf, Jan 10, 2009.
Went through this post and replaced all the pictures after the Photobucket disaster. https://postimages.org/ seems to work well enough and not difficult to figure out. Free site (so far). No charge to host pictures or to link to them.
fantastic tutorial Sea Wolf, learnt a lot from it thankyou.
Fixed all the stupid pictures again ..
When you change the water, do you just carefully pour so the teeth don't dump out? Or do you pour into a strainer and pick through the mess?
I am still trying to talk myself into this. I have been rotting horns off heads for 4 years and dealing with lots of maggots. Currently dealing with maggot cleaning a few steer heads
... sort of by accident. Even after dealing with all that nasty I am still scared of the maceration bucket
I swirl things around, wait a few seconds and just gently pour off the top. Floating chunks of nastiness end up dumped and the teeth will all settle to the bottom of the bucket. When all is done, refill and pour gently a few times after giving the contents time to settle to the bottom. Sort of like panning for gold. You will end up with clear water and just teeth on the bottom. You can also fish out the skull and rinse carefully over another bucket, just in case something comes loose. Rarely do I ever have to go searching for a missing tooth. If you are careful, even the smallest bones can be recovered. Below are bones from the inner ear of a wolf.
Ok so just the same at changing the water in my degreasing buckets. Great thank you, I have got to give this a go. My beetles are such a pain and I would love to have a back up method.
Is there any reason to change the water after two weeks? I pulled a bear skulls out, can see it is not done, is it faster if I don't change the water? Is it true the blood in the water can stain the skull.
The teeth are not black.
Picture might help. The trick is not to keep messing with it. Leave it alone. If you change the water too often the bacteria will not thrive and work well. The water also has to seriously be heated to at least 80 degrees all the time. Do not add anything else to the water. Blood in the water won't stain the skull but it will encourage a faster bacteria growth that may use up the O2 in the water. Still won't hurt anything as a different bacteria takes over.
That is interesting that a different bacteria will grow when the O2 runs out. I will peak at them again at the 3 week time. The water is a steady 90°. I prep'd them good and didn't touch them for 2 weeks, changed half the water for the bears at that point. I have about 10 bears macerating, a big horn sheep and 2 walruses all in separate buckets. I am interested to see how they degrease compared to my beetle cleaned stuff.
Would love to see the walruses. How did you come by those? The bacteria that grows in an oxygen starved environment is the one that can turn everything black. It is not permanent though very scary looking. For the sheep, when you go to degrease that, use a temp of 120 deg like for deer. That have tallow type fat and it's a pain. Much sturdier than bear fat. You should find that they degrease faster when macerated but even then you get something once in a while that decides it hates you.
Haha yes! It is like they hate me sometimes.
These are the two I am working on now, they will be for sale at Animal Skulls Canada when I am finished. I just clean them, I can put one on hold if a person was interested but I can not sell them.
This is the last one I did this summer. It was boiled before I got it but not clean, so I beetled and degreased it best I could with it being boiled previously. This one is sold.
Very, VERY nice. I have one that came from an excavation on St. Lawrence Island off Alaska. Permanently stained a deep red brown. Would love to have one that was actually white.
But yours has a better story
And thank you, I am excited to complete these two I'm working on now. Nice I got to work on them without being boiled first.