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Macerating a Llama skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sea Wolf, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I have a Llama that I am working on. Thought I would post a few progress pictures. I did not take initial pictures of the head. It was a fresh, skinned, head of a llama with part of the neck still attached. I removed the eyes and tongue and not much of the other flesh. I did not remove the brain. It was getting dark and I didn't have time. It was put in a maceration set up and I walked away. 4 days later, I poured off the bloody water and refilled the bucket. It smelled pretty bad already and was floating. I can't think of any real reason for pouring off the bloody water. It was just something I did. One week later the result is below. This was done without doing anything or touching it in any way. Only heating the water to 85 degrees. Most of the flesh is gone as well as the brain.

    These are high res pictures but you have to *right click* on them to view the bigger size.

    [​IMG]

    You can see that it is pretty clean with the exception of some bits still stuck on the back of the skull. Hyoid bones are still there but I will discard those. A bonus is that I have the Atlas vertebrae.

    [​IMG]


    I'm not taking the time to scrub it as I have too much going on right now. Skull goes back in the bucket with the heater.

    [​IMG]


    I cover it. Lost the lid. The pan works. Covering also helps to keep things that want to float down under the waters surface.

    [​IMG]

    To keep down the odor, I now cover the bucket and heater setup with a trash can and seal it along the bottom with dirt. I have neighbors and there is no smell at all this way.

    [​IMG]


    Only when I uncover something and pour a bucket out into the ground is there any smell. That is rapidly dispersed when I cover the holes.

    I'll go back and poke at this in another week. It should be 100% by then.


    WEEK 2


    Went back out and uncovered the affair and hosed everything off. All the bits are gone. Even the tough stuff that is packed in the nooks and crannies in the back. No loss of any teeth. They are all there. Very worn teeth on this critter and the fighting teeth have edges like blades. Rather impressive and I would not want those turned on me. Ready now for degreasing. Sitting now in straight 10% ammonia that I drained from a different bucket.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  2. Voltrax

    Voltrax New Member

    That's a nice llama. You have all teeth's?
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Yes. The loose ones are in the bottom of the bucket and will be retrieved later.
     
  4. Voltrax

    Voltrax New Member

    I always take out all loose teeth's when I dump soup to be sure I don't lose any. You did left them as I understand. That's a brave move. :D
     
  5. Nice llama, will it be for sale when its done?
     
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Probably not .. but you never know.
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I keep all parts and teeth together with the skull until it is finished. Not a brave move at all if you clear the stuff out of the bucket carefully. Teeth and bone is heavier and will sink to the bottom and stay there if you are gentle with washing things off.
     
  8. Well if you decide to sell it or get another one let me know.
     
  9. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    I pour out bloody water too, just an extra precaution to make sure it doesn't stain the skull. Don't think it would, but never know

    Is that llama a male or female? Was curious if both genders get those cutters
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I don't know. I am assuming it is only the male that has the fangs.
     
  11. Females have the same tooth arrangement, but only the males get the hooked ones. Females are mostly straigh and under 1/2" long. Nice skull Seawolf!
     
  12. WOW that's awesome. :eek:

    Just curious, on the first picture of "Week 2," there's a hole between the eye socket and the nasal cavity. Is that just normal for llamas or is it a bullet hole? What is that?
     
  13. Clara, Its a structure Similar to the open Eyegland on Deer and Sheep.
     
  14. Thanks!
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Fixed broken pictures
     
  16. skullman123

    skullman123 New Member

    27
    0
    what do you use to start maceration bacteria growth?
     
  17. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

    264
    281
    Ohio
    Plain heated water. The bacteria will find a way
     
  18. skullman123

    skullman123 New Member

    27
    0
    how do you heat the water?
     
  19. HondaXR250

    HondaXR250 Well-Known Member

    264
    281
    Ohio
    Older aquarium heater, bucket heater, lots of ways. Just needs to be around 85F. It will work at lower or higher temps, but will take longer or quicker. At the top of the page in the middle is where the search function is located, try typing in aquarium heater, macerating, bucket heater, barrel heater, get creative with what words you use, and youll find more results. Also you can click on more, and do an advanced search, and select just the skulls and skeletons section, which is where all this info will be located. If you need anymore help send me a pm, and ill help all i can.
     
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Again, use the archives on here. There are years worth of free information. Search for maceration, maceration tutorial, maceration skull .. etc. Be creative and you will find more information than you need. I have put up several, detailed posts with photos on how to do this simply. All you need to know is there. You just have to look for it. And yes, you will have to scroll through a lot of post titles in your search. The info is FREE for minimal effort.

    On a small one off like this I used an aquarium heater but there is more to it than that. Look through the past posts. If you want, search for posts put up by myself. There are several. You don't add anything to the water. The process starts by itself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020