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Subject:
From:
Marlene Donnelly <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 10 Mar 2010 11:24:58 -0600
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Per instructions from our mammals collection manager here at the Field
I've had my best luck cleaning bones by burying them in the back yard
for 2 weeks-4 months depending on the amount of cleaning needed.
Those little soil invertebrates do a great job--just be sure to cage
the bones in some metal screening or hardware cloth to keep out
unwanted larger visitors (and mark the spot!).  I've had this method
work beautifully after a month of rather disgusting maceration failed.
Hope this helps,
Marlene


On 3/9/10, Barry K. MacKay <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yeah, but be careful they don't get where they aren't wanted.  The bone room
> at our museum has negative air pressure inside, to reduce the likelihood of
> the insects getting out.   Even mealworms (easily obtained via pet shops)
> will do some cleaning, but I agree that those who think maceration is
> probably the best bet and least likely to negatively effect delicate
> structures.
>
>
>
> I remember my shock, as a kid, when I naively put a bird's sternum into a
> jar of bleach filled water (if bleach works, the more the better, right?)
> only to come back later and find I had hardly anything left!   Another
> example of bad advice from well-meaning parents coping with a kid who
> presented them with problems none of the other parents had to face.
>
>
>
> Barry
>
>
>
> From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bruce Bartrug
> Sent: Tuesday, March 09, 2010 4:44 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [SCIART] bone cleaning and identification
>
>
>
> Dermestid beetles work best.  If there's a university nearby that has a
> dermestid colony (it would be a university with a large collection of
> specimens) ask it they'd let feed the beetles :).
>
> Use gloves, by the way.
>
> bruce
>
> On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 4:39 PM, Wendy Hiller Gee <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> I find these instructions from The Bone Room (a great natural history store
> in Berkeley, CA) work really well:  http://www.boneroom.com/faqs/bones.html
> (scroll down to find a link to the .pdf on cleaning bones). I've used this
> maceration technique very successfully, even on the family hamster I dug up
> after a year in the ground - naturally, with the full agreement of the rest
> of the family...
>
>
>
>
>
> wendy
>
>
>
>
> Wendy Hiller Gee, CMI
> Director, Art & Design
>
> Krames Patient Education
> 1100 Grundy Lane
> San Bruno, CA  94066
>
> . 650.244.4320 .
> . [log in to unmask] .
> . www.krames.com .
>
>
>
>
>
> On Mar 9, 2010, at 1:05 PM, Sarah Walsh Laporte wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> Scrubbing with Borax and water can do the trick. (you can also make a paste
> with the borax, and leave it on there for a while for any tough spots). But
> boiling probably works the best.
> Good Luck!
>
> Heather Ward wrote:
>
>
>
> I haven't spoken up in a while, but I know you guys are the best people to
> ask this. I was out in the woods today looking for deer antlers, and while I
> didn't find any antlers, I did find two segments of a spine with four
> vertebrae each. They look like they'd been there a while as they are white
> with very little tissue still attached, mostly on the tips. While perusing
> the archives I see people have used boiling water to remove the meat or
> peroxide to whiten the cleaned bones, and that bleach is bad. With so little
> material left on the bones, what is the best way to get rid of it? Gentle
> scrubbing? with water?
>
>
>
> I'd also like to figure out what animal they came from, if possible. I'm
> guessing something coyote-sized. Are there any online resources I can check
> out?
>
>
>
> Thanks so much!
>
> Heather
>
>
>
> --
>
> Heather Ward
>
> Wildlife Artist
>
> [log in to unmask]
>
> http://www.HeatherWardWildlifeArt.com/
>
> http://heatherwardwildlifeart.blogspot.com/
>
> http://www.fineartamerica.com/customshop/heather-ward.html
>
> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heather-Ward-Wildlife-Art/71834961857
>
>
>
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>
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>
>
> --
> Bruce Bartrug
> Nobleboro, Maine, USA
> [log in to unmask]
> www.brucebartrug.com
>
> The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but
> because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein
>
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-- 
Marlene Hill Donnelly
Scientific Illustrator, Dept. of Geology
Field Museum
(312) 665-7638

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