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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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-- 
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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