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Advice For Cleaning A Mummified Skull?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by F.L. Willis, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. F.L. Willis

    F.L. Willis New Member

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    I collect skulls and bones, but usually only have to clean away dirt, stains, and insects, as they're almost always perfectly stripped down or just too old and fragile for any extensive cleaning, and that's fine. However, I recently found a rather marvelous skull, which I believe belonged to a raccoon or badger- I have yet to try and really identify it. However, this skull is extremely grisly, and I usually wouldn't have even bothered with it if it weren't so intact. It still has tons of skin and flesh left on it, but is completely mummified. I don't have any experience working with flesh of any kind, and have tried to remove it through force and soaking it in hydrogen peroxide- I'm sorry if that's a rookie mistake. I've had a little success, but it's still largely covered, and tissue is sticking rather stubbornly to the bone. Any advice on what to do would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    You don't say where you are, but I'm going to assume it is cold outside. Take the skull and toss it into a bucket of water. Let it soak for a week. Plain water, nothing else. Get a good wattage (300 watts) submersible aquarium heater put it in there and turn it up all the way. Insulate the bucket to keep the heat in and put it in the warmest place you have to help conserve heat. Keep it covered and leave it alone for another week. This should soften the dried flesh and allow it to finish decomposing and fall off or dissolve. Because the flesh is dried hard, it will take a while for it to soften enough to finish decomposing. The water has to be warmed 24/7 or it isn't going to work.
     

  3. F.L. Willis

    F.L. Willis New Member

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll give that a try!