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Need advice with wallaby skull

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by btr, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. btr

    btr Member


    I bought a wallaby skull that had some grease in it:

    I soaked it in straight ammonia for three weeks; some grease came out (the ammonia went yellow) but unfortunately some of the sutures widened. I am afraid of damaging the skull.

    Here it is now:



    I put the zip tie on it yesterday to try and stop it from opening more.

    Not all the grease is gone, as you can see. What should I do? Put it in fresh ammonia for a while more? Put it in 3% peroxide for a day? Leave well enough alone?

    RENUIRT Member

    ..I had my skulls show some damage after a long period of soaking in straight ammonia...try acetone its expensive but worth a try and leave it for at least month or two then check it for any grease spots remaining..if the grease is still there then i would think its not grease at all maybe an iron stain or something..

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    You can try first soaking the skull in warm water for a bit. Then take WHITE thread and wind around the areas that are spreading open while you hold the sutures closed. Use enough thread to keep the area closed up and tie it off. Just leave it there till you are completely done and then cut it away. Try soaking it in acetone for more grease removal. Acetone will not react with the bone in any way. That color might also be blood staining which will come out with a short soak in a water solution of Iron Out.
  4. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Those don't look exactly like grease stains to me-- looks more like pigment or rust, possibly from something holding the skull together during/after processing? Do you have any history on it? It looks like a metal band or wire may have been wrapped around the skull at the very back and center to hold it together... and it rusted. I suppose it could be from a rubber band yellowing as well.
  5. btr

    btr Member


    Thanks for the advice!

    I don't know what the stain was.

    SeaWolf, your cotton thread trick worked; I wrapped it up, and then soaked it in 3% peroxide for a day, and the stain is mostly gone... fortunately. No more cracking of the sutures, fortunately.

    It looks better now.