Taxidermy . In the empirical or strict sense it refers only to the preparation of the skins or outer covering of the various animals, when in the broad sense it is proposed to conserve them and present them in the form and attitude most similar to those usual in their life.

The aim of this art is both scientific and industrial, being the first irreplaceable teaching material and the second practical and specialized activity for the collection of individuals or public institutions. All beings on the zoological scale lend themselves to preparation and dissection. The variation of tastes, the various applications of animal products, greatly influence this concept. Thus, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, insects, myriapods, arachnids and crustaceans are assembled and dissected. The vegetables, fossils and bodies of the mineral kingdom also lend themselves to conservation for the same purpose as animals. For the practice of taxidermy, prior knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology is required, customs and life style of the various living beings. , the same as a convenient and extensive practice, without forgetting an aesthetic concept, which is in part proper to the preparer.


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  • 1 Conservation of animals
  • 2 Filling
  • 3 Instrumentation for dissection operations
    • 1 Instrumentation for dissection
    • 2 Instruments for mounting
  • 4 Source

Conservation of animals

Essentially the conservation of animals and their products lies in avoiding cadaveric decomposition, and hence the use of antiseptics or disinfectants, which also improve working conditions and their results. Lime, camphor, alum, creolin, sodium salicylate, potassium nitrate are used. Arsenical and mercurial pastes associated with coconut oil soap are recommended, adding essences, such as thyme, and dyes, such as carmine. Similarly, powders, liquids for washing and bathing or injections are used, using water or hydroalcoholic solutions as a solvent.


A very special object of Taxidermy is the choice of filler material to give the shape and details of the species to be dissected. It is customary to fill the fish with sawdust, birds with tow and large mammals with straw, different material is also used in the same animal, and thus, squirrels are prepared by filling the extremities with sawdust and the trunk with tow. In general, the tow is the most indispensable of these matters.

The glove fluff offers the advantage of dividing equally and forming knots, thereby achieving greater smoothness on the surface of the leather and also superior fineness. Esparto is reserved for certain preparations, such as the artificial body of birds. The raw cotton meets certain conditions, especially to fill small cavities, cranial, natural openings. The preferable sawdust is pine, and it must always be extremely dry, otherwise it will break the preparation when it expands. Cork in the form of industrial waste is recommended for large species, as is moss, which is also flexible and adaptable to all shapes. All material must be carefully sterilized.

Instrumentation for dissection operations

The Instrumentation for dissection operations can be divided into two groups, including the first one for dissection and the second one for assembly.

Instrumentation for dissection

  • Scalpels

They offer different shapes and sizes, depending on the preparation, and must consist of a single piece for the handle and the blade. Knives will advantageously replace scalpels in the case of large specimens, since strong and resistant muscles and joints have to be sectioned.

  • Cleans skin

It represents a practical and easy-to-use instrument, not only for large animals, but also for small ones, as long as the chosen model is proportioned to the thickness of the fur.

  • Scissors

Pointed and as thin as possible, from surgery, with curved blades being of irreplaceable use. Its size, in general, depends on the object for which it is intended, initial incision, cranial emptying, eye extraction.

  • Tweezers

They offer different shapes, such as straight and curved, and play a great role, not only in removing the skin from the birds, but also in the preparation and assembly.

  • Needles

They are used to stitch together the separated or perforated parts of the skins, their shapes being different depending on their size, flexibility and thickness of the prepared parts.

  • Skull cleaner.

Straight and long-handled spoon to extract the brain mass, and is only an auxiliary or improvement means, since it can be replaced with the scalpel and tweezers if necessary.

  • Tongs

They are dedicated to cutting only the wire when it is strong, and they are the same model as those of carpentry. The pliers or pliers must be flat bladed and that on one of their sides can cut the wire. The wire cutter contributes another type of pliers of smaller dimension and sharp cut for small wires.

  • Files

To sharpen the wire tips and are of two or three classes, depending on the thickness of the wire. Augers are used in all dimensions in order to drill the supports of the dissected specimen. The hammer will be of small dimensions in all cases, and a double-pointed nail and screw dissector, and of the handsaws and punches must also be provided.

  • Wire

It is of paramount importance since Taxidermy could not be carried out without them, and it should be used in different thicknesses, depending on the size of the specimens, the wire must be galvanized.

Mounting instruments

  • Telegraph is a device with movements of rotation, ascent and descent, where the species are placed, once prepared, to give it the most convenient attitude. Safarin is a variety of curved scalpel, the advantage of which is to separate the limbs without having to forcefully manipulate the dissected parts. Combs are essential for grooming and cleaning mammalian hair. Brushes are used to apply liquid antiseptics and to varnish the exterior of certain specimens. Turned plinths, tree trunks, artificial cardboard rocks.


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