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DeviantArt RSS for fossilfeather's gallery

older | 1 | .... | 7 | 8 | (Page 9) | 10 | 11 | .... | 18 | newer

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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--14:37: 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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  • 11/14/10--19:23: Taxidea Taxus - Badger Pelt
  • My new American badger pelt. I am in love with him. :love: He's one of those pelts that are just so easy to fall in love with. He's 34 inches of thick, soft fur with heavily clawed paws and that ridiculously adorable stripey face. On his underside, he has two dark brown dots on his chin (kind of like the chin dots on Free Willy) and he has a pale colored streak running along his belly too.

    I'll get some better pictures of him at some point since this one's not that great and it doesn't show any of his paws or sweet little, brushy tail.


    Purchased on eBay from a seller in South Dakota


    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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  • 11/30/09--16:25: Polar Bear Fur Tuft
  • Small piece of real polar bear fur. This is going to have to tide me over until I'm actually able to one day get a full bear pelt. :)

    The bit of leather it's on is a little over an inch and the hairs measure 2.5-3 inches long.


    Backstory: My family went out to a fancy restaurant one night and walking into the restaurant, there was this massive mounted polar bear head resting on the ledge in front of the fireplace. I was so delighted to actually touch a real polar bear I knelt down on the floor in front of him and put my face up to his while burying my hands into either side of his big, furry head and cooing at him regardless of being in the middle of this super fancy restaurant. :XD:

    According to one of the waitresses and an old photo they had hanging in the restaurant, this bear used to be a full body mount which, for reasons beyond me, was displayed outside the restaurant. After remodeling the restaurant's interior, they tried to move the polar bear inside and the whole thing just crumbled. -agony- The head remained intact so they kept that and now have it displayed inside by the fireplace.

    After finishing our dinner, I went back over to the bear to say goodbye and give him another cuddle. While doing this, I noticed a loose piece of fur down by the side of his neck/chin and I casually picked it up and slipped it into my pocket. And that's how I managed to get a piece of polar bear. :heart:

    In this photo, it's being displayed on a kangaroo pelt and with a turkey feather.


    Disclaimer: 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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  • 12/01/09--15:55: Fischer's Lovebird - Skull
  • A Fischer's Lovebird skull displayed on a piece of zebra hide. That red bill cover gave me issues... Still I'm lucky to have some of it rather than none at all.


    Skull taken from a friend's parrot after it passed away
    Zebra from *Zhon


    Disclaimer: 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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  • 12/01/09--16:02: Zebra Hide
  • My small piece of zebra (most likely Plains zebra) hide. It measures about 5.5x11 inches.

    Zebra 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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  • 12/01/09--16:43: Impala Hide
  • African Impala hide.

    Hide from eBay


    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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  • 12/01/09--16:57: Impala Skull
  • African Impala skull on an Impala hide, both from the same individual.

    Set of both from eBay

    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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  • 12/01/09--16:59: Bontebok Tail
  • Close up shot of the tail on my Bontebok pelt. The tail has very course hair and is not soft at all. The pelt beneath it is a Gemsbok (aka Oryx) and it is the coarsest haired pelt that I own.

    Bontebok from eBay
    Gemsbok from *Zhon


    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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  • 12/01/09--17:05: Vole Skull
  • A vole skull, possibly a meadow vole. The skull measures about three-quarters of an inch long.

    Vole found already dead and the skull was cleaned and preserved by me


    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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  • 12/01/09--17:07: Skunk Skull
  • Skunk skull on grey squirrel pelt.

    Skull from *Zhon
    Grey squirrel from a covered bridge festival


    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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  • 12/01/09--19:29: Baby Rabbit Skull
  • Baby rabbit skull. Victim of one of my dog's "hunts" in the backyard. We've since discouraged him from chasing the rabbits he sees and he'll only chase them now if he knows we aren't looking.

    Skull cleaned and preserved by me


    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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  • 12/01/09--19:53: Young Raccoon Pelt
  • This is Squeakers, the young raccoon that I found as roadkill this past July. He was the second animal that I skinned (first was a baby mouse).

    He was the first and the last raccoon I'm going to pick up. I've since learned that most raccoons carry a certain type of roundworm in their intestines and feces that can infect humans and there is no cure. The chances of getting aren't that great (you have to actually ingest it), but I'd rather not mess with the risks and just play it safe. My next raccoon pelt will be purchased from a taxidermist. :)


    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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  • 12/01/09--19:57: Stowaway - Deer And Chipmunk
  • My Eastern chipmunk skull perched on the entrance to my white-tailed doe skull's nasal cavity.

    Both skulls found and cleaned by me


    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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  • 12/05/09--21:54: Kit Fox - Anatomy Study
  • This is the body of a Kit Fox after it was skinned. I had put the body outside under a large flowerpot to return the flesh to the earth before going after the bones this coming spring, but I had a commission with a difficult pose and I needed some help.

    My mind instantly jumped to the body of the little fox as potential reference and, since canines are all fairly similar in anatomy with just minor alterations, it seemed like a really great idea. After all, the great artists like Da Vinci learned their extensive anatomy knowledge from studying real cadavers, why couldn't I use that method too?

    He had only been out there for a couple days and it's been pretty cold here so he was still very well preserved though during his time he'd been out there, he did pick up a fair amount of dirt and some leaves. ^^;

    His help proved invaluable and now I wish I had a little canine anatomy figure that is as amazingly detailed, poseable, and perfect as this guy was, only you know... minus the decomposing thing.



    Kit Fox from a trapper (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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  • 12/07/09--13:42: Makeshift Fleshing Beam
  • I meant to get better pictures of the actual fleshing process but my brothers were busy last night and I couldn't flesh and take pictures at the same time. x.x

    So I've grabbed a picture of my little indoor setup after I finished but here is a detailed explanation of how I do this step.

    I layed the plastic out to catch the bits of flesh that came loose and fell during the fleshing process but mostly for the dripping water from the wet pelt. I had squeezed out most of the water before placing him on the "beam" but there will always be more water that drips out.

    The beam itself is actually just an oversized shipping tube that has had a plastic trash bag placed over the end of it and wrapped with mailing tape to hold it securely in place.

    Normally I use the beam by placing it over one of the shafts of the metal hammock frame that's out on our front porch but it is freezing cold outside right now and I didn't want to work out there. Besides, a kit fox pelt is not very big at all and would be easy to do inside the house.

    To flesh the pelt, I positioned it so that the end of it was held over the end of the tube nearest me and, with a piece of the plastic inbetween me and the pelt/tube, I pressed into it with my knee to keep it in place while I went at it with my knife. Once you've worked the excess flesh off in one area, reposition the pelt so that the part you're scraping at is kept taut right at the end of the tube.

    I was at a crouch with the tube in between me and the corner of the wall for this entire process and today I have some tight, sore muscles in my back because of it. No one ever said taxidermy was painless or easy. :XD:

    Once I had the pelt positioned correctly and everything held in place, I took my knife and, holding one side of it with each hand (the tip of the cutting edge was wrapped and taped to serve as padding), I slowly and carefully started scraping away at the excess flesh and membrane. Always work from the tail end towards the head. For the legs, work from the paws up towards the body. I've seen most tutorials teach the opposite but I've heard from two sources to do it the opposite way because it allows you to work with the hair follicles instead of scraping against them. There is much less chance of tearing the skin this way and the work is much easier and goes quicker. After trying both ways, I will never flesh the other way now.

    Fleshing is best done on pelts that have had a few days to soak in a pickle because the soaking allows the excess flesh to plump up and scrape away easier.

    Once the fleshing is done, the pelt should be returned to the pickle for another 24 hours so that it can soak into all the newly exposed areas of skin.

    The disposable gloves were worn for the whole process and the scissors were used to carefully snip away the excess flesh around the eyes and muzzle area.

    More of this process is depicted here: [link]


    Any questions, just ask. :)

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  • 12/07/09--13:49: Mallard Duckling - Jefferey
  • This is my new Mallard duckling, Jefferey. :heart:

    He died of natural causes back in 2006 and has been freeze dried for preservation.

    Duckling from *Zhon


    Disclaimer: 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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  • 12/07/09--13:52: Mallard Duckling - Close Up
  • A close up of my new baby Mallard, Jefferey. He's so soft and cute, I expect him to start peeping at any moment. :love:

    I will be buying a glass dome and base for him to protect him from dust and bugs.


    He died of natural causes back in 2006 and has been freeze dried for preservation.

    Duckling from *Zhon


    Disclaimer: 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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    This has been posted as a Deviation.  If you'd like to favorite it, please click here: http://fossilfeather.deviantart.com/art/Skull-Preservation-Tutorial-160367844

    I've been asked multiple times how I go about cleaning and preserving the skulls that I find so I've decided to put together a sort of FAQ/how-to regarding this subject.  Please keep in mind that there is more than one "right" way to achieve things in the realm of taxidermy.  This is just the way I do my skulls/bones.  :)

    You will need:

    Plastic bag for picking up your treasure
    A good sized flower pot
    An ant hill (if possible)
    Disposable plastic gloves
    Nice sized metal pot k

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  • 03/30/10--12:11: Arctic Fox Pelt - Nikko
  • My arctic fox pelt, Nikko. On both his forepaws, the middle claw is white rather than the usual dark brown. :aww:

    Purchased from a taxidermist


    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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