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

Skeleton of the Week 2

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Jean-Christophe, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. This is the second tread, of skeleton of the week. Same as before, we encourage you to show your skeleton, pros or beginners and give the more constructive criticisms.
    Link to Skeleton of the Week 1 : http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,319362.0.html
    (I think it could be good to put links of all the last tread for future searches)

    Following Guus example, I write something about how “bone story” started for me.
    I’m born in Paris, but I usually spent my holidays in country side in nature from/since my first months of age. One of my friend showed me few skulls and I visited several time the Museum of natural history in Paris. I was 7 or 8 years old and since this I started to collect bones and skulls or anything from animals (insects, crustaceans, shell…). This passion leads me to a biology degree in the University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC) in Paris. I now would like to follow a master in paleontology/evolution or just museology if I can’t get the other. No one gave me a formation for bones, I made my own experiences myself, plus read sites later when I had excess to Internet. In the last couple of years I met peoples from the museum of natural history, taxidermists and an old professional bone preparator.
    Since few years I have commissions and some free specimens from a taxidermy (counter of natural history) shop called Claude Nature. Now this is a part of my living because I don’t have a job and keep want to follow my studies.

    Ok place to skeletons now. Vkvz should take the following week ;)
  2. This roadkill marten is my first articulation; I did it at the age of 13yo. There are few bone placement mistake in wrist for example and I’m missing 2 ribs. I just let it rot with maggots in the garden, then boil part by part with dishwashing liquid. I didn’t whiten because I only knew bleach and I already knew it could be bad for bones, just used it on bigger bones I found like cow, sheep…
    (nice idea to show your first one Guus!)

    Attached Files:

  3. Now I show my last wood mouse skeleton, this is the first skeleton that I fully scraped. I already scraped parts of small animals, mostly heads to get the small skulls such as vole, domestic mouse… Hand cleaning here replaces beetles and following steps are the same. This is the main method of the old European museum preparators. Unfortunately I broke few bones: a fibula and some jaw process. There is still few meat on it, spine mostly. Will add better care next time.
    I found this wood mouse dead under a car. I guess something hurt him bad and he refugee here then died. Any ideas of what did it ? Cat ? Fox ? Musteline ? Maybe a cat played with him.

    Attached Files:

  4. Apodemus sylvaticus 1

    Attached Files:

  5. Apodemus sylvaticus 2

    Attached Files:

  6. Apodemus sylvaticus 3

    Attached Files:

  7. You guys just amaze me. How you work with such small animals is unbelivable. Great work.
  8. Guus

    Guus Member

    Wow, great start of the second week! It is truly amazing what you can do by scraping, Jean Christophe! I've worked with a couple of small skeletons and I'm sure I'll never be able to do the same thing as you do! Heck, I already have a tough time not breaking any limbs on mice while skinning them... Although it will probably never be a technique I will use or prefer I admire the result and your precision and patience a lot!
    The marten is great as well for a first and at the age of 13! Very well done and I'm sure you learned a lot which took you to where you stand today.
  9. Thanks ! I usually start like we learned in animal biology course for dissection to remove skin and guts. Then I separate parts like head, the 4 legs, spine in one or 2 pieces then scrape. Sure without beetles you would have patience to do this seeing your meticulous work.
    Yes, this marten learned me a lot, all beginner's problem like how to place every bones in there places, reorder bones, had to glue back the broken skull. Plus it's a juvenile so there was the epiphysis too. A good cleaning went a lot latter than bone puzzle for me.
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I like the pose on the marten too. Very nice. And I can't imaging scraping all those tiny bones. Great job.
  11. Thanks Sea Wolf ! The marten pose is inspired of cats, I really wanted one because they are the easier felids to get. Have several of them now.
    In the following weeks I will show hand cleaned frogs skeletons.
  12. Wouter

    Wouter Member

    Well done JC, the marten is exceptional for a first skeleton, and the mouse is really special knowing it was scraped. I'm especially impressed by the way you cleaned the ribs so neatly without breaking them. What did you scrape with, a lancet or some kind of brush?
    Last week I tried to scrape an ermine which I treated with ammonia and strong peroxide, which should make them easy to scrape with a brush. Well... not that easy, I'll try again with a metal brush, a tooth brush wasn't good enough. To be continued.... ::)

  13. Vkvz

    Vkvz New Member

    I agree with the others, both on the marten and wood mouse! How long did it take you?
    I may have some "scraping work" for you, but more on that in the email.
    The result is really very impressive given the size of the specimen and the technique you used, congratulations!!
  14. Thanks Wouter and Vkvz !
    If you look closely you can see that I broke the first right rib. Also broke in 2 places 1 sternal cartilage but parts didn't separate hopefully. I hope to do some more to get experiences and then do my frozen mole as good as I can.
    I scrape using dissection scissors to cut skin and tendon as short as I can, scrape with tweezers and my nails everything. I cleaned ribs one by one. I use a Kocher's forceps sometimes on things and it can really help. I know the old bone preparator use a metal brush, I didn't tried yet but I think it's mostly for spine because there is so much nooks. I would choose a soft one. He did snakes and all kind of animals by scraping. Could send you some pictures of his work if you want.

    I don't remember how long it took to scrape the mouse. Did it in 2 times but it was not as long as the frogs strangely. Or maybe frogs allow an easier access to tissues so you remove more on them and the quality is much better. I would say 2 hours for a mouse and around 3 hours for a 10 cm long frog, but you can spend more time if you want it really tissues free. (I know for beetle cleaner this probably sound horrible to spend that much time on a small thing). I prefer fresh specimens for this but show me what you have and maybe I can try.
  15. Guus

    Guus Member

    Didn't have internet last couple of days, so I couldn't post a skeleton unfortunately. Looking forward to next week though!

    2 Hours for scraping a whole mouse skeletons doesn't sound that long actually and I'm impressed that you broke so few bones! I can imagine that you'll end up with a very strong skeleton, did you glue any parts, other than the ones you took apart?
  16. So do I.
    Yes everything hold well thanks to fresh ligaments as strong as they can be. No, I didn't have to glue other things than what I took apart. Here I separated tail to dry easier things. And I separated jaw from the skull of course.