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Cleaning Lower Mandible

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by nama30, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. nama30

    nama30 New Member

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    Was in the process of cleaning the lower mandibles on a cow elk. The skull and jaws were cleaned up using the Maceration method. When I took them out there was still some gunk and goo in the lower jaws. From the research on this forum and before degreasing, I used a metal hook to help clean out the gunk in lower jaws. My question, if I left the lower jaws in the bucket, would more of the gunk been dissolved by Maceration? Seems I pulled out a lot of soft goo similar to graves wax. Other question, is there an easier way to clean out those lower jaw channels then metal rod and hook? Air compresser did not work because all the different areas the air escapes and all the gunk was pretty solid in the jaw. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Dig, dig, dig and fish it all out. Some of it is fat, other bits are veins and nerve tissue. Yes, a lot more of it will rot out if left, but it is much quicker to fish it out. I use bent coat hangers and smaller wires, pipe cleaners and even bottle or tube brushes if the holes allow me to get them in there. I would avoid compressed air as it will force out the material in a spray that you do NOT want on you or be breathing it in. Despite the effectiveness of this, remember that this is flesh eating bacteria. I keep digging at it, flush with hot water and dig some more. It will eventually all come out.
     

  3. I do a lot of macerated skulls. just did some bison and elk lower jaws. after a good maceration i turn the jaw upside down and pound it on a piece of wood and it drives out just about everything easily. easier than anything else i have tried. Don;t be afraid to pound it too hard
     
  4. nama30

    nama30 New Member

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    Thank you for the replies and information. It was helpful. I was amazed at how extra smelly that stuff gunk smelled when I was pulling it out.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Builds character. :)