this may sound a bit morbid....

Fidel

New Member
...but does anyone know anything about preserving dead reptiles. Something less involved than taxidermy style mounting?
 

Montezuma

New Member
I work for a local museum as well as I am the head director of the Association of South Eastern Field Herpetologists. For every D.O.R. (Dead on Road) herp we find, if it's in good preservation quality, we preserve it in jars of Isopropyl alcohol. I don't reccomend using Isopropyl on arachnids as fading of the colors has occured.

-Josh
 

Thomas

New Member
I work for a local museum as well as I am the head director of the Association of South Eastern Field Herpetologists. For every D.O.R. (Dead on Road) herp we find, if it's in good preservation quality, we preserve it in jars of Isopropyl alcohol. I don't reccomend using Isopropyl on arachnids as fading of the colors has occured.

-Josh
Do you want to save the sceleton only or what?
 

Fidel

New Member
I am pretty much interested in salvaging any part. I am an artist and I do alot of mixed media sculpture. I have used turtle shells before, that I found already as shell only. I found an eastern boxie dead on road today, and I was interested in getting the shell off. I thought about burying it outside for a while and letting nature take care of it for me. It smells really bad and I am dredding disecting it myself. I can't really think of how I could incorporate something in a jar into my artwork. I have a bearded pygmy chameleon that passed away and is in my freezer now, I thought it would be cool to use but I don't know how, the best I can come up with is to cover it in a few layers of shelac, or polyurethane.
 

PamsChams

New Member
I have tried to save chameleons for art work also and found a nice ant hill will take them down to the bone but as for the skin I have had no luck.
 

pohchunyee

Avid Member
There is a series on Dirty Jobs about animal remain (skeletal) preservation. They soak them in acid to get rid of skins and meat etc... and then preserve the skeleton. I think you can find some information regarding the process in www.discovery.com/dirtyjobs
 
Simple and effective, very cheap but crude: Superworms!

Those carnivorous little suckers will clean out a small carcass in a few days, guts and all. They're not as neat as dermestids, but they work well. Only problem I've seen is that the tiny bones of some feet tend to disarticulate, otherwise, they clean very well. Just have to get rid of some excess skin, if it dried up too much for the worms' taste.

It's a great way to preserve them when the wife has drawn the line at 3 dead lizards in the freezer...
 

pohchunyee

Avid Member
Better to use maggot (thats the easiest method). Maggot will clean every piece of meat and left the bone alone. 1 week time and they should be able to break down a chameleon into bones
 

Shunt1

New Member
...but does anyone know anything about preserving dead reptiles. Something less involved than taxidermy style mounting?
My wife and I had a Puffer fish that we loved, but he required hand feeding.

Since we travel to Cozumel Mexico every year for scuba diving, he required someone to feed him. Such a simple task, but we could not find anyone willing to feed this fish for those two weeks. Of course, if you did it wrong, he would make you bleed, but that is beside the point.

Puffy is now very well preserved in our freezer...

Most modern "non-defrosting" freezers will lower the air pressure and will freeze-dry anything, given enough time.

Remove any soft organs and place him in your freezer. Wait six months, and he will be preverved for the next 1,000 years.

Well, you did ask...
 

Fidel

New Member
update....I disected the turtle, everything actually came off the shell pretty easily, except it smelled horrible.

Pam-Where do you get these maggots you speak of?

Eric- I see your from NC, What part? Also, can I feed my chams the same superworms that I use to devour fleash?
 

pohchunyee

Avid Member
Adult flies are being sold as feeder.............just buy a few adult flies and then place them in the container with your dead chameleon. They will lay eggs on the dead bodies... the more flies the more maggot and they will strip the chameleon clean. Here is a link of a mantis breeder who actually sell housefly pupae. Follow the instruction and you will get toms of flies...then just feed those flies with honey and sugar water. A week or two they will be mating and ready to lay eggs...and then just place them with the dead bodies.. but i have to tell you... they stink !!!

http://www.mantisplace.com/feederinsects.html
 
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Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Wet specimens can be suspended in isopropyl alcohol as already mentioned or if you are looking for a skeletal specimen, most museums remove excess flesh, soak the remains in alcohol for a number of days to remove any water in the remaining tissue and then use a dermestid beetle colony to consume the remaining, dried tissue from the bones.

I would not use any insects as feeders that you use in this process.

Chris
 

Ash

New Member
The way I dry out my dead Piranha (I've had a few)

Is to gut the fish (handy being a chef) and then cover the body in biocarbonate of soda. Pour some down the throat aswell to dry out inside.

Swap the Bicarb every week with fresh.

It may work with Chameleons but using this method with fish you get a brilliant replica of the dead fish!

Ash
 

Skiddles

New Member
Lots of good inforamtion in this thread altho I must admit I feel sick after reading everything. Where's the bathroom? :confused:
 

Montezuma

New Member
Speaking of animals in the freezer, thanks for reminding me, I have 3 copperheads, a king snake, and a corn snake in the freezer I need to unthaw and get into some jars. Carrion Beetles do wonders on eating flesh, muscles and internal organs. The superworm ting sounds interesting, as long as they aren't fed to your chams afterwards, Other Squamatids would enjoy these, however. As long as the animal died from natural causes and no infections or diseases would pass.

-JD
 
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