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Lorena Babcock Moore or Daniel Moore <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Aug 2000 11:50:38 -0700
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Hello James,

Good to hear from another fan of weird bones, rotten meat, and disinfectants.
I use bleach to clean most large bones - put some water in a bucket, add some bleach,
add the bones, and spend a pleasant sunny afternoon outdoors with a knife and an
old toothbrush.  How MUCH bleach is rather subjective and depends on the size
of the bones, how much non-bone yuck is left on them, and (perceived) degree of
ripeness.  DON'T SOAK bones in a strong solution for hours - you will soften small
bones and make them chalky and brittle.  Large bones can also be softened and
the periosteum damaged.

With very fragile and relatively fresh material (birds and reptiles) I've had success
just dunking them in boiling water (only a splash of bleach) and taking them out right
away, then the skin easily peels off (kind of like scalding a tomato and peeling it).

Lorena B. Moore
Tucson, AZ