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harbour porpoise. any ideas?

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by Corvid2e1, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. Corvid2e1

    Corvid2e1 New Member

    Hi, I have just been asked to mount a harbour porpoise calf that stranded on the beach a couple of days ago. the guy who has the body is currently in the process of aquiring the relevent paper work so I have a little time, but I need to figure out exactly how to do it. I want to do a skin mount rarther than a repoduction but I have never seen one done before, so I don't actuly know how practical it is. the animal is quite young and is only about 4 feet long so the size is not a major issue, but it is just so diferent to anything else. I am guessing it is going to be somwhere between a seal and a fish, and I have done a seal before, however I have no experience with fish, so I am not realy sure about the tequneces. If anyone has any ideas then I am open to sugestions.
  2. sluggunner

    sluggunner New Member

    fleshing is gonna be a whale ha ha

  3. Nina Lukaszewicz

    Nina Lukaszewicz Outdoor Dreams Taxidermy

    You'll probably have to do a carcass cast or wrap the body...because I don't think there are any commercial forms for a seal...sounds like a cool project though
  4. Corvid2e1

    Corvid2e1 New Member

    the fleshing I am not looking forward to! you can't simply slide the skin off the blubber like you can off the meat. you have to carve the thing out of the skin. The seal took me 5 hours to skin and another 3 days of scraping to get all the blubber off! funily enough you can actuly get forms for seals. I managed to find one last time. I seriosly doubt you can get one for a porpoise though. I am sure I will have to make my own. I will probably make a cast. that bit should be easy by comparison. the thing I am most concerned about is skining the fins. the dorsal fin and tail flukes are just cartalige, so I am hoping it will turn out similar to a large ear, but I can see it being more complicated than that. the pectoral fins contain bones, but being such an odd shape, I doubt I will be able to invert them. I will probably have to make cut on the underside and carve it out that way. the other thing is I have no idea what happens to cetacean skin when it dries. will it loose its colour? will it shrivle up? its pretty thick, even with out the blubber, so how well will it tan?
  5. gladysphilips

    gladysphilips jackal? it's a jackal!! jackal? a jackal!!!

    i don't know for certain, but i wouldn't imagine that it would be possible to tan such a skin.

    i've never seen a skin mount of a whale or dolphin, which leads me to think it's not possible? i realize that we wouldn't see many today because they're illegal to hunt and possess, but i've dealt with a lot of antique taxidermy, and i've never seen such a thing. those victorians stufed anything and everything that moved, and if they couldn't do it, i don't know if anybody could.

    but, good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

    WILDLIFER " Damn Mini Flesher !"

    Some of the old Texts on Taxidermy show the Skin Mounting of LRG. Marine Fish/Mammals

    It looks very Labor intensive & time comsuming.

    Personally I think A Reproduction would be the way to go on such a mount.

  7. Carve the body, I would think that carving would be the best way. Use a dense urethane foam. I would also think about the skin, it may let out or it may not, use a small piece and figure out what works best.

    I dount the feds issue a permit unless its going to a museum or public school.
  8. cast it for a reproduction just in case the skin mount does not work out... but I would agree with John in the carving of the body.
  9. Corvid2e1

    Corvid2e1 New Member

    I still intend to try the skin mount, but what would be the easiest, (and cheapest if posable) way to do a repoduction? as I said before, I have no experience with mounting fish so I have never done one before. as for the paper work, I am in England so it may be a bit more relaxed over here, I don't know what your laws are like, but I work for a wildlife rehab centre, that also contains an education centre, and we already have paper work for another stranded porpoise that we picked up. that was an adult, and already half rotten so I am mounting the skeleton on that one, but that was not dificult to get the permition at all. they didn't realy seem to care.
  10. quackhead

    quackhead New Member

    good luck getting a permit for that as the marine mammal protection act protects that species and you can get in big trouble with one of those.
  11. Corvid2e1

    Corvid2e1 New Member

    obviosly I wont be touching it until I know it is all leagal, but as I said, it wasn't a problem last time, so I wouldn't expect there to be any problems this time either. I havn't actuly seen the guy recently so I am not sure how it is going. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens, if anything.