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Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by s.iker, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    So due to work, i had someone euthanize a chameleon, I want to articulate the skeleton. Im nervous due to the stuff they euth with. I know that its been talked about with larger animals, (dogs and cats) but what about the small little guys, rats, lizards.. this thing isnt larger than a dollar bill. The other thing is that i looked at the bone man, they dont seem to have anything on lizards. What do you think would be the best way to keep them so i can do the skeleton..

  2. carlabrauer

    carlabrauer Quality bone cleaning with dermestid beetles

    I'd recommend doing a beetle clean and ligament mount. I don't think the euthanasia solution will be a problem at all. Prep the specimen, dry it very well (beyond what you normally would), and give it to a smallish beetle colony. Remove it before they have a chance to eat through the ligaments. Sometimes you need to take legs away earlier than the rest because you really don't want them loosening up the bones in the feet. Degrease in acetone and whiten for brief lengths of time so that the ligaments don't get so soft they start to fall apart. I soak, remove, dry fully, soak again, repeat. If this is one of the chameleons with horns, remove them first before the beetles can damage them. Best of luck!

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The chemicals used to put it down won't harm you unless you start chewing on it. Use beetles to clean it as above. Some might die but they bounce back very quickly.
  4. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    Thank you for the replies... Cant wait to get started.. One quick question, have you done a chameleon? how would i make a tongue? Like in this one...

  5. jcrichardson617

    jcrichardson617 New Member

    That is a bone in the tongue. I generally cut the tongue skeleton out and set it in the beetles next to the rest of the animal.
  6. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    o_O oh... did not realize they have a bone in the tongue?
  7. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    Update for anyone who cares... :)

    the chameleon is in the bug box. Cant wait to see the results.. Im doing a time lapse on this, and then one on me doing the articulation... We'll see how it goes.... Hopefully it'll turn out nice!!!!
  8. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Keep an eye on the bugs. They will loosen and run off with small bones on you.
  9. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    Thanks. I did put it in a tall-ish box with a paper towel for them to get in n out with. I'm hoping that'll be enough to keep the bones contained.
  10. Had you removed the skin on fingers & tail tip?
    Keep an eye out for sclerotic rings, if you don't want to confuse left & right one.
    If the body isn't dry enough, bugs would eat cartilaginous ribs and dismember the limbs, shuffling finger bones.
  11. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    No i didnt remove those. Didnt realize? :eek:
    The rings I'm not too worried about. I won't be using them in the articulation. They prolly already did all those things. Well have to see what comes out.

    If all wlse i get the skull, I'm okay with that too.
  12. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    OKay, went to check on the bugs with the lizard. And its all gone. no skull to be seen, nothing... im really confused.. I did record it, so once i find the reason that my go pro studio is crashing, i can get the right file to upload it for ya'll to see..... Id understand if the smaller bones would walk off.. but the skull? i find that a bit odd..... i searched the frass and such, didnt come up with anything....

    So my thought was if there was a calcium deficiency, or a metabolic bone disease, would the bugs eat the bones too.. if they were softer. What other reasons that ALL the bones walked off...?!
  13. eurosbyRT

    eurosbyRT Skull Designs

    I did a gecko of my daughters and they ate the whole thing, so it could happen. I have a iguana to do now and I am nervous to put it in my bigger colonies
  14. How large the chameleon was? Young reptile bones have a lot of cartilage, but if dried properly, NOT moistured and isolated from frass, they'll be cleaned.
    I had a successful experience with postcranial skeletons of several baby crocodiles.
    Those which died from calcium deficiency were eaten completely (besides largest bones), but only if if left unattended. Healthier ones came out nicely.

    Same happened with skulls of newborn mammals, e.g. rabbits & guinea pigs.
    If presented in dried condition, beetles clean them carefully, leaving even turbinate bones intact.
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If I do delicate stuff with bugs, you have to watch them. I mean like check on them every couple of hours or so. If it was a small one, or if you have something that is delicate, pick out smaller larva to use and isolate the specimen outside the colony. Don't use the bigger larva because they can damage real small and very fine bones. If the bones were soft due to a lack of proper care leading to the animals death, I suppose the whole thing could have been eaten
  16. s.iker

    s.iker New Member

    I think if i get another chameleon, (or anything like it...) i will just macerate it... I did it wrong. (bugs got food, so not the end of the world..... )
    Im converting the time lapse to a youtube and i'll post if if you guys wanna see it.
  17. s.iker

    s.iker New Member


    Here it is.. its sped up like 700% so its only 1 min long...
  18. So you will end up with jar of mixed, rotten bones and fallen-apart skull.
    Bugs DO clean chameleons if you do the right things - Precleaning, drying and isolation from frass.
    This one was presented as a corpse with skin, full of liquids. No wonder that all bones got eaten.
    Also, smaller chameleons are better as wet-preserved specimens - even if not having died from metabolic diseases, they have softer bones. Search for a cham that died of old age.
  19. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As above. If you macerate a reptile skull it comes apart into an almost impossible puzzle. Use bugs and just do it the right way and it will be a nice ligament mount.
  20. Jweb

    Jweb New Member

    How do you skin the chameleon. I have dissected an egg bound cham before to save the eggs, but have not attempted to skin.