Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rat Skull

I found a dead rat near my work one day, and it was entirely mummified. I got a couple plastic bags and picked it up off the ground. I really only wanted the skull, but being mummified it held together in one piece!

 I macerated the body in a bucket on my back porch, and after a few months, the flesh disintegrated enough to come off the bones. I replaced the water a few times until there was nothing left in the bucket but water and bones.

 Each time I dumped out the old water and yucky stuff, I risked losing a few of the tinier bones. I discovered that the skull had been broken, but I could see most of the parts were still around. By this time the water was clearer and I added a small amount of bleach to it. You have to be extra careful at this point because too much bleach will actually eat away at the bones.

 This morning, I took the skull bones which had been drying for a few days, and assembled them. I discovered a couple are gone forever, but it's still pretty good for a first time effort with something so small. I've only ever done large things like a moose and a couple deer. Oh yeah, and a Cormorant skull.