Cleaning tiny, super delicate skulls!
I got a nifty lot of skulls in the mail the other day and in it were these little stillborn puppy skulls (and a big old bullfrog skull!). The puppies were nature cleaned only and still had some dried hide and lots of fur attached. The bones of these skulls are not fused and are paper thin so incredible care is needed to clean them. Maceration is possible but they will complete fall apart. I’ve rebuilt enough little skulls like this before that I try to avoid it whenever possible. Also, I am lazy.
Using tweezers and a dental pick I gently scraped, pulled, and pried off any remaining hair and hide. This took about an hour. Several repairs needed to be done but it’s best to wait until they are clean for this.
Next came the peroxide spritz! I simply laid the skulls out on a paper towel, filled a spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide, and sprayed them down. I started this at night and when the sun came up the next day I moved them outside and continued the process. Sunlight seems to help speed up the whitening. I sprayed them and occasionally dunked them peroxide on and off for two days before calling them good. More could be done but I’m happy with them as they are.
Repairs have been made and now one of these cute little buggers is for sale in my shop! Really cool little skulls.
There’s a bed under here somewhere…
Still not everything I’ve been working on but this is the majority of the bones anyway. Few skulls too but most of those are still outside. Again, a lot of this stuff will be for sale soon! As soon as I can sort through it all…and get my bed back, haha!
More stuff being cleaned!
The bones on the left are from a huge Great Pyrenees-type dog I found skeletonized near some railroad tracks last year. I finished cleaning his skull pretty quickly but the bones have just been sitting in a bucket ever since. Finally done with them now! And on the right are a couple of coyote skulls and some deer jaw bones.