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Puppy skull reconstruction

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by ElephasMaximus, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. Need help with reconstruction of a skull of Papillon puppy (it's a girl, 2 weeks old). At the pic, it's in flesh, now the skull is completely macerated.
    All cartilage dissolved, but it's not a problem. The bones didn't fallen apart until the final cleaning stages, now they're being degreased.
    It's a pity, but I forgot to take pics before separating the bones :( Some of them are stil connected though.
    I'm familiar with normal adult dog/cat skull anatomy, but unfused baby skulls are truly a sort of puzzle.
    If anybody has the refs for such case, please help :) Pics of the bones will be uploaded next day. The rest of skeleton is also preserved.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Not sure if this will help, but its one of my older posts, I cleaned a Fox and a Badger Cub skulls, fox fell apart;

    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,281808.msg1950030.html#msg1950030
     

  3. Thanks. Mine is in more pieces (braincase is not fused at all, the bone edges are very thin and fragile. The palate is very soft)
    Maybe a kitten refs would be better, since this dog's face is as short as cat's.
     
  4. I wish I could offer help, but can't. I am in same position with juvenile badger skull. Bones are very thin and fragile, most of the teeth have not erupted, even the mandible is not solid because the teeth have not come through the bone yet.
    Hopefully someone here has a picture of a young dog skull for you, or you can find one on the net. If not, try calling the universities or museums to see if they have samples they can let you see of send you pictures of. Good luck.
     
  5. Here's a baby rabbit I did not to long ago
    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,314377.0.html
    It takes great patience but it's doable. I know someone posted a display piece of the parts of a juvenile skull (I believe it was a fox maybe, not sure), I'll see if I can dig it up, or maybe someone will remember it. For now here are some links I found on google:
    http://faculty.orangecoastcollege.edu/mperkins/zoo-review/cat-skulls/cat-skull4.html
    http://faculty.orangecoastcollege.edu/mperkins/zoo-review/cat-skulls/cat-skull5.html
    A domestic cat but works just as good. Hope this helps and good luck :)
     
  6. Thanks for reference! The disarticulated cat is just what I needed, and it will be handy for kittens too! (have a litter of 4 Angoras in alcohol)
    Btw how wet the bones should be at the moment of assembly? They'll certainly distort at edges if dried completely before articulation.
    I'm planning to dry them with paper towels and use PVA glue (it's soluble in water, so errors can be easily corrected).
    Arranging the pieces can be very tricky. I have a 3rd hand tool, but its grip is too firm for such fragile bones.
    Probably I have to extend the pincers using rubber or polystyrene strips... other suggestions?
     
  7. I would suggest stabilizing the bones with a very thin solution of paraloid first. You won't see that it is there and the edges of the bone will be stable. In fact the bones will be slightly flexible instead of brittle. This really helps otherwise, the edges can start breaking down with the slightest touch on the thinnest of bones. It even helps to do this before gluing together. While I haven't had a huge amount of experience with paraloid, I have experimented a lot lately and previously had used other products to stabilize in a museum environment before paraloid was available. Stabilizing with Duco cement works, but it leaves shine behind and is hard to reverse. We used Duco in the museum because it is permanent and when you are putting broken and crushed artifacts and bones together that have been excavated, you want it to be permanent. I am going to be using paraloid on the juvenile badger I will try to put back together.
     
  8. What I do is set them out to dry on a paper towl for about an hour, then I start peicing through everything and laying them out which pieces are mirrors. Before I even touch glue I figure out where everything goes and that they fit together correctly. It's best to glue when they are still slightly wet, the edges will most likely warp.
     
  9. Update after nearly 8 years) I reconstructed the skull back in 2018 without references and found it just now. Sadly all incisors and canines were eventually lost so croc teeth were installed instead. The skull would be sold as curiosity.
    [​IMG]
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    Tnrandy likes this.
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Good job. I would not have thought of croc teeth as replacements.