Saturday, March 15, 2014

BONELUST Q&A: "How do I get the bones from this small animal?"

This is one of the smallest skulls in my collection at approx .5" long, from a Carolina Anole. The fact that I have some of these in good condition & complete is quite a task for me.

Give me an entire adult deer & I can process it for the bones no problem. But it is the tiny reptiles, amphibians, rodents, birds & etc that I have the hardest time processing. You can't macerate like you do with medium sized animals (raccoon, opossum, etc) & up (deer, boar, cattle). The bones can literally be eaten up by the bacteria that defleshes larger bones.

You also can't simply let dermestid beetles help with a skeleton this small and forget about it. I tried, and this is all they left me from 8 full lizards. Although I may try that again with a more controlled environment where I watch more closely with fewer beetles.

In the meantime, it comes down to painstakingly slowly & carefully removing the flesh by hand with tweezers & scalpel after rehydrating it with plain water. A very tedious process. Once I myself take the time to master this process I will make a blog about it.