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Javelina Skull-- Complete

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by akvz, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. akvz

    akvz New Member

    I finally finished up a javelina skull of mine. It's been a few months, I didn't exactly keep track and I'm still not sure I'm done-- I only degreased for 2 weeks, which seems to be an incredibly short time for a species known to be greasy, and with mistakes like cold water maceration for 2-3 weeks and the animal initially being frozen for a year... it feels like it should not be done yet. I also, despite doing everything in my power, could not get the lower canines to come off under any circumstances. I'm sure there's nasty junk in them to remove but I don't want to damage the skull trying to remove them at this point and will just deal with degreasing or possibly re-macerating at a later date.

    (Note: the yellow/orange tinge you may see in some pictures is just my kitchen light-- it's very warm coloured and I haven't gotten around to getting any sort of proper studio lighting or anything)


    This guy had a broken incisor on his right side, split down the root and damage to the socket around it. Normally I'd like to leave things like this alone and the tooth was full of corn and prickly pear spines, but... after pricking my fingers 200 times trying to skin him out with prickly pear spines all over his snout, I decided I didn't want to deal with any more of that and pulled a lot of them out of this tooth as well once they started to prick me.

    He also has uneven tusks-- the ones on the right are significantly longer than the ones on the left!

    And, as something I like to do/keep for skulls I harvest and clean up myself... I kept the atlas and axis vertebrae, along with 1.5 of the cervical vertebrae following.They have a similar texture to the rest of the skull, and are extremely cool. Not sure if the edges are supposed to look as damaged as they are, or if this guy had some sort of major bone disease like osteomyelitis.

    I would like to ask... you can see it a little in these pictures... there's 3 horizontal "cuts" in the bone in the zygomatic arch, though there were no cuts made there at all and they appear to be naturally occurring in the bone. 2 on the left and 1 on the right. Do these occur naturally in javelina?
  2. joelamping360

    joelamping360 Member

    Nice, javelinas have truly interesting looking skulls

  3. OutbackJack

    OutbackJack Member

    I'm doing one right now. Hope it comes out that nice. Good job
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Have one as well. Can be nasty buggers to work on but it's a scary looking specimen when done. If I can dig mine up within a reasonable time I'll take a look and see if those marks are there.
  5. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Funny thing was, this guy was kind of a dream-- I read everything I could on javelinas on here and I was dreading the amount of degreasing I'd have to endure... and he cleaned up relatively quickly and got super white in a day long soak of 3% peroxide. I still have several skulls that were degreasing at the same time as him, not sure if he was a fluke or if bobcats are worse than I realised.

    Definitely one of my favourite, if not my favourite skull. I've got another in maceration right now with 8 tusks I'm going to work on next... I'm not a huge hunter but I'm thinking of going out to get my limit of javelinas sometimes... I can't get enough of these skulls. The meat's not bad either and they make a nice mount on a wall.

    Good luck! Ammonia will be your new best friend.
  6. flintlough

    flintlough Member

    Cool skull! Such a gnarly creature. Nice job on cleaning/whitening.

    Those "cuts" do look kind of odd but probably are where vessels or nerves ran.

    Places on bones where there are high stresses at ligament/tendon attachments can undergo repeated micro trauma and inflammation. It can lead to "feathering" of the bone. In humans it can be seen at the pelvic ischial attachments of the hamstrings or deltoid attachments on the humerus as examples.

    Having the first few cervical vertebrae with the skull is a nice touch, neat to see how they articulate.
  7. fogbound

    fogbound Member

    Excellent job! I am doing a couple myself currently...hope they look as nice!
  8. lokireptiles

    lokireptiles Member

    Very nice job. The skull itself is very cool. I like all the "life" you can see in this guy. One day maybe I will get one to work on - hopefully it will be as easy as yours to clean.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    8!? ... Pictures! I want to see!!
  10. akvz

    akvz New Member


    :) About the size of a coyote, definitely a juvenile... are they still called piglets if they're not old-world pigs? But it's cooler to call it by an 8-tusked javelina either way. Got him from free from a friend after a hunting trip because "it's not much of a trophy." His loss.

    He was also very smelly during the entire process... I'm not sure if I mentioned that part... I think I'd rather take the full degreasing time than deal with his smell again. He was in the freezer next to a few other javelinas and was gutshot so the freezer smelled... fragrant when it was opened. And he kept that fragrance for quite some time. I think it's finally gone.

    They do seem like nerve/vessel channels but at the same time they're in such a weird position to do that... not that javelinas are exactly typical, either.

    Thanks for that info about the feathering! That's probably what happened with this guy. He was pretty small but he seems to have had a wealth of history to him, I guess he was just a small older fellow.
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Very different and please post a pic when done. Not sure if those are non shed baby teeth or if this is totally abnormal.

    Seems other people love them too for crafty things.


  12. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Of course. I'm excited to see him complete as well. I think they're baby teeth because some of the incisors look more babyish as well. I should have thought to check and see if all the back teeth had erupted yet, though.

    That beaded skull is awesome! I always think about carving or painting skulls but man... It makes me nervous to think of possibly ruining a skull, especially something impressive on it's own.