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my second fish skull: bluefin tuna

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Wouter, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Wouter

    Wouter Member

    Hi all,

    Due to some problems with my internet photo album I could not post both my fish skulls in the same topic, sorry about that.

    The other skull I made is this bluefin tuna, currently the largest skull in my personal collection, 50 cm long. I received the head without the gills and most of the pectoral girdle.

    For reference I used the tuna skull pictures from Jean Christophe:
    and this very informative website:

    Other fish skulls which I hope to finish in the near future are zander, wels catfish and swordfish.


    the head

    The puzzle, after maceration, degreasing and bleaching. Some small elements are out of place because I learned where they belong only later on (see below)

    half way the assemblage

    finished! side view

    front view

    from behind
  2. Very large and impressive head! Was it a captive specimen or a catch?
    Btw how's your hippo going?

  3. Wouter

    Wouter Member

    As far as I know it was from the wild, I don't think captive tuna are this large.
    My hippo is still in the freezer, I could not do the anatomy class with it because it was frozen to the floor of the freezing chamber and it was impossible to get it out ;D. I hope they'll call me when they defrost the freezer room, so I can pick it up an reschedule the anatomy lesson.

  4. Is the hippo already at the lab, or still at the zoo? Take care that it won't be disposed.
    The tuna has some grease stains, still very impressive for a second fish! Or you were too impatient? :)
    Larger fish are fun to articulate, while small ones are quite fragile and tricky to clean without bugs.
  5. This one is really large and impressing. But to much place consuming I think.
    Elephas, I cleaned 4 tuna's heads : 2 get very white and 2 get yellow/orange like this one. I did the same treatment on all, but the alternative baths and a long cleaning did nothing better. Thus I'm almost sure this one is correctly degreased, just stained.
  6. Wouter

    Wouter Member

    Yeah, I agree that it probably won't have mattered if I would have kept it in acetone or peroxide any longer to get it more white. At the moment I'm bleaching two swordfish which probably won't get completely white as well :-\. I'll try to clean the next two swordfish next week in a somewhat different way, hoping they won't stain so much (those things are even greasier than a tuna)
    Indeed this skull is impractically large, I'll probably display it at my university later as a teaching specimen, together with the swordfish if I manage to turn one of those into a decent skull as well (more difficult than a tuna I'm afraid).


    PS: Elephas, the hippo is still at the zoo, and I hope they won't forget to contact me when they defrost their freezer room so it can come out ::).
  7. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    Very nice wouter, congratulations!

    When is skullsite 2.0, the fish-edition coming on? ;D
  8. Vkvz

    Vkvz New Member

    Fantastic skull Wouter, as Jean-Christophe said, nice to see you work on some fish!
    Would love to get such a big head sometime, I remember seeing it frozen in December, incredible! Really hope you manage to do something with the halibut, it should be a stunning skull as well if you can put the neurocranium back together!
    And I agree that some just won't turn out white no matter what you do. Learned this the hard way when I ruined a tuna JC sent me a while back. Well, it is kind of white now, but flaking and fragile so I didn't even articulate it, so good thing you didn't insist on it. Looks fantastic as it is anyway.
    Hope to see it in person someday!! :)

    Ps: will reply to your email asap, pretty busy these days!