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White stuff on skull after maceration

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Kayla, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    I macerated a coyote skull and it came out completely clean except for some white stuff on the bone. I don't think its grave wax because it is stretchy and soft, slightly slimy. There wasn't a whole lot of it on the skull so I just decide to put the skull into Ammonia and water anyways and the white stuff is breaking down slightly and some could be peeled/scraped off with my nail but I was wondering if anyone knew exactly what it was or what i should do if it happens on another skull in the future. Thanks!
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Take an old toothbrush and dish detergent and scrub it off. Without pictures it's hard to tell. Might also be some leftover bits of tendon that can be scraped off with a blade of some type.
     

  3. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    I will take pictures and post them with this then when I get home tomorrow morning, so check them out if you get a chance, thanks
     
  4. BWebbs31

    BWebbs31 Classic Skull Mounts, LLC

    X2 on Seawolf's thought of leftover tendon material. Did you use warm water for maceration or cold?
     
  5. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    Okay so I've been trying to put the pictures up but it tells me my file size is too large and I have no idea how to get around that
     
  6. Easiest way is to set your camera to a lower resolution before taking a picture. For each post, the file size can only be 128kb or kilobytes. So look at your file size. Then only attach one file per post. So if you have add another, post in topic a couple times.
    If you cannot get file size down by just retaking, you will need to use a program to either reduce the image resolution, the image size by cropping, or both. Also saving as a .jpg or what is called a "jpeg" will compress the file more than a different image type like .gif, or .tiff
    You can PM me if you need help. I used to be in Information Technology for 20 years so I can help.
     
  7. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    The first picture is hard to see what I'm trying to show but I had to crop it a lot to get the file size right. And I tried to show how its stretchy in the second picture of the lower jaw. Hope this helps show what I'm trying to describe. Thanks scoop for the info the pictures were taken on my cell phone so it was easy to just crop them a lot to get them right.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    The first picture didn't show up so just ignore my comments about the "first picture"
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Odd but it looks like connective tissue of some type. Try a soak in peroxide overnight and then scrub it off with a clean Scotch pad. Those sponges that have the green rough side. Be gentle and it shouldn't hurt the bone but it will get that off. You can also try scraping at it gently with a blade. If it seems reluctant, let it dry a bit first so it firms up. Can't say that I have seen that but things I macerate are generally left in the bucket for at least a week and there is rarely anything left.
     
  10. ShamanCoyote

    ShamanCoyote New Member

    191
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    When I did my first maceration ever I had this too, I found it scraped off with a blade but it can be stubborn. Just have to be careful not to cut the bone.
     
  11. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    Thanks guys this is my first maceration as well so I was a little confused, I will try scrubbing and scraping it. I was a little disappointed though because I left it in far longer than a week and still got stuck with this. I've read seawolfs tutorial on maceration and was expecting a perfectly cleaned skull. I'm hoping that it won't happen to a racoon I'm macerating now though because that has been in a container coming along very slowly for a few weeks now.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Slowly? Are you heating the water? If not, there will be all manner of difficulties. Including a LOT of grave wax, not just scattered spots of it. There will also be a larger amount of grease in the bone. Macerating should take a week, rarely longer if prepped properly.
     
  13. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    I have an aquarium heater in the water but I think it only goes up to around 80°
     
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Ok. 80 is fine for maceration. Your raccoon should have been done in a week. Unless, maybe, you kept changing the water, rinsing it off and poking at it.
    If you are going to macerate something, you need to pretty much leave it alone. Every time you change water or rinse it off, you are making the bacteria start over.
     
  15. BWebbs31

    BWebbs31 Classic Skull Mounts, LLC

    How much prep work are you doing before you start the maceration process? The less stuff on the skull will give you a quicker turnaround.
     
  16. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    I changed about 1/4 of the water maybe 3 times within the last 3 weeks and I didn't take it out or rinse it. It is in a smaller plastic container with a lid on it loosely (to reduce smell) and that is floating in a 5 gallon bucket with the aquarium heater in that. I cut out the tongue, eyes, most of cheeks and top part and removed some of the brain. Even my coyote that I didn't do any prep work to finished faster than this.
     
  17. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    Is your container insulated? If not, the heat is probably leeching out and leaving the water colder than it should be
     
  18. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    Its not but its black so it soaks up some heat from the sun and I figured I wouldn't have to because its summer. What do you suggest?
     
  19. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If the coyote finished fine with no prep work it sounds like you are good to go. You just got a problem skull. One will show up from time to time.
     
  20. Kayla

    Kayla Member

    Problem skull? Huh, I didn't really think that happened. Is there anything I could add to the water to promote bacteria growth or should I just leave it be?