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DeviantArt RSS for fossilfeather's gallery

older | 1 | .... | 5 | 6 | (Page 7) | 8 | 9 | .... | 18 | newer

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  • 04/18/10--08:07: Groundhog Pelt - Murphy
  • My new groundhog (or woodchuck) pelt, Murphy. He was picked up a few weeks ago and skinned and tanned by me. This species of pelts seems to be pretty rare and I'm guessing it might be that the fur, though handsome, isn't particularly luxurious. Another guess at why this might be is that, while I was softening the leather at the end of the tanning process, the ridiculously thick skin around his head and face make it super hard to get it properly softened like the rest of his pelt. Though I really don't think this should really stand in the way of anybody with a commercial tanning drum. :hmm: Just us novices who have to do it all by hand. :XD:

    Anyway, this guy probably has the coarsest fur out of all the pelts that I have but he's still a unique little pelt and I'm happy to have him.


    Groundhog found as roadkill and skinned and tanned by me
    Alpaca found on eBay from a seller who bought it in Lima, Peru


    Disclaimer: I did not kill either of these animals! It was found already dead. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 09/02/10--15:53: Glow Worm
  • A large, fat and adorable caterpillar I found while outside this afternoon. It was about 3 inches (or four inches stretched out) and was a beautiful color of spring green. :love:

    After some research, I'm pretty sure this is a caterpillar of the Polyphemous moth (Antheraea polyphemus).

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  • 09/02/10--15:59: Caterpillar Nun
  • A large, fat and adorable caterpillar I found while outside this afternoon. It was about 3 inches (or four inches stretched out) and was a beautiful color of spring green. :love:

    It had quite the aversion to my camera flash when it would go off and would tuck its little round head into its neck. I was able to get it to climb onto a twig so I could better photograph it and once it reached the end, it assumed this pose where it looked to me as if it was either praying or crossing its "arms" in refusal to put up with my antics any further. Caterpillar temper tantrum! :D

    After some research, I'm pretty sure this is a caterpillar of the Polyphemous moth (Antheraea polyphemus).

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    Happy Halloween from your friendly neighborhood zombie shrew! =P

    This was one of my dog's victims a couple weeks ago. My dog was out playing in the yard and got the better of the shrew before we could do anything about it.

    I skinned it to preserve the fur then tucked the body away under a flowerpot so I could retrieve the bones later. Upon returning for it, I was only able to find it after much searching. I hadn't realized how much smaller it would be without the flesh on it and it wasn't even that big to begin with. Though it appears much larger on the screen, the skull is a little short of an inch long.

    When I picked it up, I was surprised and delighted to see that he was still partially being held together and in such a delightful horror film pose. Pictures commenced and he's now here to wish you a Happy Halloween!! :pumpkin:


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal! If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--13:46: Muskrat Pelt
  • Muskrat pelt with tail. Their fur is much like a beaver pelt, with smooth, glossy guard hairs and thick, downy underfur.


    Pelt purchased at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--13:55: Muskrat Skull
  • Muskrat skull on a muskrat pelt (not from the same individual).


    Pelt and skull purchased at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN


    Disclaimer: I did not kill either of these animals! If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:01: Virginia Opossum Pelt
  • Female possum pelt with tail and all four paws. The Virginia Opossum is North America's only marsupial.


    Oppossum found as roadkill and skinned and tanned by me



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:06: Virginia Opossum Skull
  • Possum skull with its 50 splendid teeth which makes it the animal with the most teeth out of all North American mammals. The Virginia Opossum is North America's only marsupial.


    Skull from *Zhon



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:27: Jackrabbit Skull
  • Skull of a jackrabbit. You can see the four incisors in the upper jaw in this photo. The smaller pair is positioned directly behind the larger pair. For a more detailed picture of these teeth, please see here: [link]


    Skull from *Zhon



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:28: Jackrabbit Incisors - Detail
  • A close-up view of the second pair of incisors in the upper mandible of a jackrabbit's mouth. This second pair of incisors that all rabbits, hares, and pikas have in their top mandible are one of the things that set Lagomorphs apart from Rodents. To see the whole jackrabbit skull, please see here: [link]


    Skull from *Zhon



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:37: Cross Fox Pelt Face
  • My new female cross fox pelt. She has all four paws and claws and silky, beautiful fur. I will get more pictures of her at some point but the light just wasn't cooperating with me today.

    Purchased at the Yankee Peddler's Festival in Medina, OH


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:44: Kit Fox Skull
  • Skull of a Kit Fox on the pelt of the same individual. To see the full pelt of this fox, please see here: [link]


    Kit Fox from taxidermy.net (this is not one of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Foxes from California)


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:52: Snaggletooth - Bear Skull
  • A close-up of the well worn incisors of an aged Black Bear skull that I purchased recently. The interesting thing with this guy is that he is missing one of the small incisors in his lower jaw. While there are supposed to be six spanning the distance between the two fangs, there are only five. In the area where the one tooth is missing, there is instead one stunted, deformed tooth and one that is extra long that juts out and gives him his snaggletoothed appearance.


    Skull purchased at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/30/10--14:59: Elderly Black Bear - Skull
  • An aged American Black Bear skull that I purchased recently. His skull has become thick and textured with age. I need to get some pictures of him side-by-side with my juvenile American Black Bear skull for comparison. For a photo of my younger bear skull on his own, please see here: [link]

    Skull purchased at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/31/10--21:12: Marmalade Tabby Cat Pelt
  • Okay, now before you say anything, this was a feral cat that was found dead in the middle of the road. I could have just left him there and he would have been a cat pancake by the next morning, carelessly ground into the asphalt and forgotten. Instead, I took him home and turned him into something that could be respected and treasured for years to come.

    Also, I believe that he was a feral stray animal and not someone's pet because he was not neutered, his ears were packed with filthy earwax and dirt, his pawpads were well worn, his claws were cracked and abused, and he was utterly flea-ridden.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that any feral cats or house cats that are allowed to roam outdoors are a menace and a threat to native songbirds and other small, native animals. I know there are other factors that play into songbird populations but free-roaming cats are a large problem when it comes to preserving the numbers of our diminishing songbird numbers.

    Okay, all that aside, I admit I've been waiting to come across a stray roadkilled cat for quite some time now and was very pleased to find this fellow in the middle of the road while out for a joyride with my sister. She, being the willing and allowing sister that she is, let me pick up this cat as well as a young gosling that I found later on on our walk and stash them in our trunk until we got home.

    It was a little odd skinning such a large domesticated animal but I soon realized that under the fur and skin, all animals are pretty much the same and it became no different than if I had been skinning a squirrel or fox.

    He doesn't have the thickest fur but he is a unique and appreciated member of my pelts. He does have very beautiful patterning and the most adorable little paws though. I've been trying to come up with an appropriate street cat name for him that will honor the tough life he led during his living days but haven't been able to come up with anything yet. And the fact that one of my brothers frequently refers to him as "Pumpkin" doesn't exactly help matters either. :XD:



    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/31/10--21:22: Autumn Fox Line Up
  • A picture of the four fox pelts I own. Top to bottom:

    Ari the Kit Fox
    Tarot the Cross Fox
    Miette the Red Fox
    Nikko the Arctic Fox


    Kit Fox from a seller in Arizona on taxidermy.net (this is not one of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Foxes from California)

    Cross Fox purchased at the Yankee Peddler's Festival in Medina, OH

    Red Fox and Arctic Fox pelts acquired from a taxidermist in Ridgeville, IN



    Disclaimer: I did not kill any of these animals and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/31/10--21:31: White-Tailed Deer Leg
  • Right hind leg of a white-tailed deer displayed on a kit fox pelt. Yes, it's weird, I know. At the same time, it is an excellent reference for drawing hoofed animals and... it only cost me $1.50. Doesn't get much better than that.

    I'm not really sure how this was preserved (it has the original bone in it still and everything) but it's pretty danged cool and the hoof looks to have been glossed with something to give it that nice shiny look. Also, that white area near the top of the leg that can be seen in the first picture is a metatarsal gland. I've read about them, seen them in pictures, but it's something else entirely when I'm able to see it up close and personal like this.

    Purchased at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in Lafayette, IN


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/31/10--21:38: Cross Fox Pelt - Tarot
  • A somewhat better picture of my Cross Fox pelt, Tarot. It's still not as nice as I'd like but it seems to be immensely hard to capture her in a photo with as much beauty that she possesses and exudes in person. Eh, I'll just have to try again during a future photo session, I guess.

    She is currently my largest fox pelt. To see her in a size comparison photo with my other foxes, please see here: [link]


    Purchased at the Yankee Peddler's Festival in Medina, OH


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 10/31/10--21:49: Glamour Shot - Kit Fox Pelt
  • A picture of my Kit Fox pelt, Ari, out in the autumn sunlight today. I love this little guy.


    Kit Fox from taxidermy.net (this is not one of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Foxes from California)


    Disclaimer: I did not kill this animal and disagree with the killing of animals for sport or fashion. If you do not like what you see, don't look at it! Also, don't bother wasting your time leaving rude or pointless comments here, they will be ignored.

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  • 11/04/10--17:50: FossilFeather's FAQ

  • I've been getting certain questions over and over and decided to finally compile a FAQ section to refer people to.  I've covered many of the basic questions I get as well as the ones concerning how to preserve animals but if I've forgotten something or if you have a specific question that hasn't been answered here, feel free to leave me a comment.

    :star: GENERAL QUESTIONS :star:

    Q. Where do you get all the things in your collection?

    A. I get them from a number of places including taxidermists, second-hand stores, colonial history events, but many of them are animals that were found as roadkill which I take home and preserve myself.

    Q. Why

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