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rattlesnake mounting question

Discussion in 'Reptile Taxidermy' started by bird artist, May 19, 2012.

  1. bird artist

    bird artist New Member

    Hello to all, I have a question I'm hoping someone can help me with- I'm an experienced taxidermist, but have mounted only two snakes and encountered a problem with a rattlesnake I just skinned out today. Of course, the head started to slip as soon as I started to skin it out. I'm assuming this is from the venom sacs in this area "digesting" the surrounding tissue so to speak, but CAN the snake still be salvaged for a mount? It's a beautiful snake otherwise, save for the scales having fallen off most of the head, not due to shedding, but rotting. Do you guys have to deal with this? I'm hoping/assuming it can possibly just be painted to match?...the color lines are still visible such as the stripes on the cheeks. Thanks for all your help! aaron
     
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sure it can. Use an artificial head. If you don't want to try that, simply mount the skin and then recreate the scales on the head by making a cast of the scales close to the tail where they're smaller and more compacted.
     

  3. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Yes...

    Yes you can paint over it as the scale pattern is still there even with some scales missing.

    **Of course, the head started to slip as soon as I started to skin it out. I'm assuming this is from the venom sacs in this area**

    Absolutely not. Dead snakes can be sensitive around the head area due to the heat from your hands when handling/skinning it.

    ** save for the scales having fallen off most of the head, not due to shedding, but rotting. **

    It is not due to the snake being "rotten".

    Just mount it and then paint the head area and use reference.

    :)

    Kerby...
     
  4. bird artist

    bird artist New Member

    thanks for the tips guys!...will let you know how it turns out.
    all the best,
    aaron