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Amateur Taxidermy


 e107    22 May 2020
 None    Technology

By Das Troll

Ever think to yourself, man I wish I had a skeleton without all that pesky meat on it. Well now you can! Introducing the Dermestid. You've probably seen these little flesh eating beetles around and never given them much thought. And why would you? They don't bother anyone, they don't eat living or wet meat, and are generally harmless. They can do some damage to leather and carpet if they are left unchecked. These little buggers are use by museums and taxidermists to efficiently clean the meat off a skeleton. This skeleton can be anything, human or animal. Some people think bleaching the bones is a good idea and while that creates white bones, it also makes them brittle. Some people like to boil the meat off the bones and while that works, it often creates yellow bones that aren't pleasing to look at.

What you want to do is get a Dermestid colony and set them up. There are charts to see what size colony you need for the size of skeletons you want to clean and how long it will take. A skull for example.

Requires you to remove all the heavy meats such as the tongue, eyes, and brain. Then you have to let the meat dry for a time to get a nice jerky consistency. You can do this artificially with drying rooms or you can just leave it in a warm, dry place. Be warned though, you will attract flies and that's not the kind of crowd you want doing your taxidermy work. After the meat is dry, you just toss it in the colony making sure you don't crush any of your workers. They will go to town on it and within a few days, depending on the size of the object, it will be clean. After that you clean any bits that the bugs didn't and dunk it in peroxide. Leave it there for a few days and it will whiten the skull without making it brittle.

The bigger the carcass, the more bugs you need. The bugs themselves need a few small bones here and there to live in along with some sort of substrate type material. Your best bet is to do this outside away from your home and to lock it down tight. The smell of dead animals will attract all sorts of scavengers to your box.

Side note:

You can feed a lot of chickens cheaply with maggots. Take a bucket and drill a bunch of holes in it and then fill it up with rotten animals. Flies get in and lay eggs and maggots are born. Then dump the maggots out for the chickens.

By Das Troll








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