For all the hard-core experts (PA and Wouter - I'm talking to you!) and everyone else with experience, I have a tough question: We've talked in the past about cleaning preserved specimens (fluid fixed) and I've tried to convince people that they should avoid it at all costs: WAY too much work and not worth it. More cost effective to get fresh specimens than rescuing the odd preserved cat. However, I have a huge number of incredibly rare specimens that I have to clean (full skeletons), and they are in TERRIBLE shape. They were originally preserved decades ago (1950s and 1960s I think) with who knows what. Probably terrible things including, but not limited to, major carcinogens. Fun, right? It gets better! Many of these specimens were not maintained and completely dried out! So not only are they preserved, but their muscles are hard as a rock. I have used things like pliers of all kinds, wire cutters, serrated knives. I've soaked them in warm water (which helps a little), but no matter what I do, they take HOURS of HARD work by HAND. Those of you on here who know my preferred methods know that my modus is to go with the laziest method possible. I've used bugs and mostly macerate now, and don't care about how fast things go, but I would do ANYTHING to figure out an easier way to work on these specimens. I don't need them really super clean - not white, but defleshed and dry. Some of you museum people must have dealt with things like this before. Suggestions? My students (who undoubtedly will do most of the work when I get fed up) will thank you!