1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Full Scabbardfish Skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Jean-Christophe, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. An other fish that I was working on was a Silver Scabbardfish (Lepidopus caudatus). I got it in fish shop. My specimen seems to be a quite big one compare to the other scabbardfish/cutlassfish I have seen. The big hook broke some teeth.
    I first did a hand cleaning one it, and then macerated some parts except tongue/gills part that I put in acetone immediately.
    Degreasing his bones was really hard and acetone did just a little job on it. As you can see it's not perfectly white. Then I had to put back everything in its place. This was quite difficult because some bones curled and these fish have delicate bones so they're fragile (but still very impressing I think, one of my favourite). I put back tongue/gills part too and this was the first time I did it.
    Here are some pictures of processing that I hope will help those who are interested in fish.

    The head before.

    Attached Files:

  2. after hand cleaning, ready to macerate or degrease.

    Attached Files:

  3. tongue/gills bones separated. (references) look how greasy they are after acetone !

    Attached Files:

  4. left side bones in order before glueing.

    Attached Files:

  5. skull + tongue/gills

    Attached Files:

  6. finished skull side view. skull is 19 cm long

    Attached Files:

  7. 3/4 view skull

    Attached Files:

  8. under-side view

    Attached Files:

  9. Lovely! I caught a cutlass pier fishing off the coast of NC. They are nasty buggers! Great pics!
  10. ravenswings1

    ravenswings1 New Member

    Wow I can't believe how greasy! You did an amazing job, I can't believe that maceration doesn't break those tiny bone. How do you macerate exactly?
  11. Nice!
  12. Aww and I thought you'd leave the hook in it! :p
    Great job, neat fish.
  13. Thanks all !
    ravenswings1 maceration never break bones. I macerate with saliva and the jar on my radiator.
    Rhasputin I was thinking of putting back the hook, but I don't wanted to damage or colour the jawbone. I kept the hook.
    Megan :) likes this.
  14. seven

    seven New Member

    Great looking fish. Getting ready to try this with some beetles. See everyone saying how hard they are to get back together, but still going to give it a shot.
  15. Guus

    Guus Member

    Fantastic job again, J-C! Did you use a thread to tie the bones together to keep them in order?
  16. Thanks seven and Guus !
    Not really. I tried to tie some gill/tongue bones with indication on papers at the other extremity but H2O2 "ate" the string so I could just referred to my own pictures for that as there is no good pictures of it on internet (or I didn't found them). For the other parts, I just macerated right side separated from left side and used pictures as references. For vertebra's order, it wasn't that complicated to find.
    Megan :) likes this.
  17. Vkvz

    Vkvz New Member

    Nice to see it complete at last, you worked on this one for quite some time! ;)
    Looks fantastic, and huge!! Mine would look ridiculously small compared to this one! :D
  18. Thanks Vkvz !
  19. Hi Jean-Christophe. First, sorry for my bad english.
    I found a Aphanopus carbo's skull and I want to prepare it. Your advices to the Lepidopus caudatus are verry helpfull but I've got some questions.
    How long did you put tong/gill in acetone and did you put the rest of the skull in acetone too ?
    After acetone, the bones are still orange because of grease. How did you make them white ? Just with H2O2 ?

    Thanks for your answer and your time
  20. Hi, don't appologies for your english to an other french ! :)

    Yes all bones have to be degreased and sometimes it can takes months with sevral baths.
    Assuming it's macerated, yes alternate acetone (1 month minimum) and H2O2 baths till it's ok for you and bones stay in good condition. If scraped, same as above but take really care of connections and mix H2O2 with alcohol to whiten.
    ThorNIOL likes this.