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Macerating A Puffer Fish?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by LostNewbie, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. LostNewbie

    LostNewbie Member

    I just found a porcupine puffer washed up on the beach. I don’t have pictures, but he was already on his way to decomposing as his eyes were sunken and white, his skin was slipping, and he had an odor. I want to preserve the whole skeleton, and because of the interlocking structure of the bones in the spines I wasn’t able to cut it open to get to the guts no matter what I tried. I threw him in whole into a white 5 gal bucket filled half way with water from a garden hose and topped it with a secure lid. I put the bucket in a sunny place as I’ve been forbidden by my parents from using a bucket heater due to ‘fire hazards’. Will this be effective in cleaning the skeleton, and will the flesh really all macerate off? This is my first time really doing maceration on a specimen this large and bizarre. I understand without a heater it is possible but more difficult, but in my situation a heater isn’t available. Will the maceration method keep the bones interlocked or will I have to reconnect them all? Is there something else I could have done that would have been better? I made the decision to macerate only because he was so rotten, if he wasn’t so ripe I would’ve baked or gently simmered it to retrieve the bones and treated them from there. I only just did all of this a few hours ago so I can easily change anything right now before the real decomposition begins. I had originally planned to thread a wire through the spine, tie the head bones together with twine, and cut the skin into strips containing each row of spikes but this ended up not being possible because of how the bones interlocked. Thanks for any advice!