Reptile Forums banner
1 - 20 of 70 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,
I was curious what the best ways to get the flesh off a skeleton were?

I have several frozen snake specimens (moellendorf, reticulatus, mandarina) that i would like to have a play with.

A few years back i tried with a young burmese head but found it VERY hard to get rid of the flesh without loosing bits left right and center.

If anyone has any suggestions/experience i'd appreciate it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
boil it? or stem it and strip away the skin?
why though....seems a shame...bury it n let it rest lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
why though....seems a shame...bury it n let it rest lol
They're dead, you dont get more rested than that!!:lol2:

As for why, because i find reptiles fascinating inside and out. Having skeletons will help when ever i need to refer to a part of the body, much easier than trying to visualise an area.

I can certainly wait, some of the specimens are years old by now!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Isn't the best way to let bacteria eat it? Takes months but yeah... :shock: Don't look at me funny I've never done it before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
well,first i would have thought you could defrost it (imagine the smell!:sick: )then make a cut on the top of the head,boil it then pick it away , it should come apart easily then, maybe ther e is some kind opf chemical that would dissolve the flesh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,691 Posts
Would leaving it in a secure container of a corrosive substance do? Bleach will dissolve flesh of a human if left in a bathtub full of it after about 72 hours, leaving you with a sludge you vaccuum up and the skeleton should be in tact left behind, and then can be preserved. I am not sure if there is something better than bleach, there probably is - forensic scientists use corrosive acids to strip the flesh away from bones of humans within hours when necessary, but I'm not sure what's the strongest thing you can use that you can buy over the counter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,244 Posts
Would leaving it in a secure container of a corrosive substance do? Bleach will dissolve flesh of a human if left in a bathtub full of it after about 72 hours, leaving you with a sludge you vaccuum up and the skeleton should be in tact left behind, and then can be preserved. I am not sure if there is something better than bleach, there probably is - forensic scientists use corrosive acids to strip the flesh away from bones of humans within hours when necessary, but I'm not sure what's the strongest thing you can use that you can buy over the counter.
:shock: :shock: Done that before? Or just a fan of CSI :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
try and buy a bulk lot of dermestid beetles/larvae

heard of a lot of people using these to clean skulls/skeletons. They're the little wiggly caterpillars in cricket tubs. maybe worth saving those up, and getting people to save them for you too, maybe post them to you. apparently they can make short work of skeletons, and are amazing at breaking down dead waste.

let me know how it goes finding some
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Boiling it is no good as the tiny pieces of cartiledge/bone get lost when you're picking through it all.

I was looking more towards something (animal or chemical) eating away the flesh.

The idea of the bleach is just what i'm looking for, although i wonder if there is something stronger?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So far i have had the suggestion of soaking the carcass in a bleach solution, dermestid beetles/larvae and ants.

I don't think the bleach will be safe though as the bone/cartiledge fragments are tiny so will be very fragile at best. Apparently it weakens deer skulls so a snake would stand little chance.

I'm going to go have a look at the dermestid option.

It's too cold outside for ants here, any idea what species would be best? I could go out and buy a colony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,045 Posts
but wouldnt they eat the cartilidge?why dont you have a look one one of the websites that specialize in that kind of thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
butwhy dont you have a look one one of the websites that specialize in that kind of thing?
Thanks for that insight :crazy:

I have been looking for some time now but only decided to actually speak to people this afternoon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I dont know to be honest. The only references i have found suggest that it is no good for bones as it makes them brittle so i'd guess it wont be good for that either.

So far it looks like either dermestids or maggots (ie fishing) are going to be the best bet.

Going to see if i can track down some dermestids in the UK for sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Boiling vinegar is what the Medieval Brits would have used. I think pretty much anything that is going to disolve flesh is going to disolve cartilidge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
933 Posts
I think the normal way is to scrape the worst off the body/ insides, then put some circular foam inside to stop the ribs bending back over too much when they dry. Then you tend to use the beetles. Final clean is done with bleach.
Then you gotta stick all the bones together again, not an easy job by all accounts. I think the beetles will eat the cartilage as well but I'm not too sure.

Let me know though as I have a copuple I want to do sometime.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,474 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been unable to source any great numbers of the dermastids so i am going to try maggots on a mouse and see what happens.

If they work ok i'll try them on a smaller carcass. If not i'll look at getting some beetles from the states.
 
1 - 20 of 70 Posts
Top