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Aging Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Research' started by Shreddies, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    I wanted to describe some old mounted animal heads in a tavern, but I have no experience with them and I don't remember ever seeing some in person.

    So does anyone know exactly what happens to old mounted animal heads after they haven't been taken care of very well for several years?

    Do they rot? Or lose fur? And what happens to the antlers of, say, a moose or elk?
     
  2. solas

    solas Scribe

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    I believe they just become dusty and dirty like any decor. I do not believe they lose their fur but you could say something about their eyes if they are caked with dust and dirt.
     
  3. solas

    solas Scribe

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    Shreddies likes this.
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I've used a lot of fur in costuming and most of it is recycled from coats etc. You get bald spots, the fur can get dull and patchy in instances. If the animal wasn't in fine health (like the culled bear I turned into a rug), the skull and teeth can be brittle and fall out. You can also see drying. Dryness is a problem here in the desert. skins become brittle and degrade into basically dust. Also, for antlers specifically, they can form cracks and rough scaly texture.
     
  5. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    also, certain hides make better rugs. For instance, deer shed, which is why you almost never see a hair-on deerhide like you do hair-on cowhide rugs. Deer probably have bigger pores or something and when tanned, the hair begins to moult off. the sheep I've seen hold up pretty good, and deer heads mounted on a wall where they don't receive a lot of human contact. Other things I've seen mounted are birds, especially things like turkeys and pheasant. Feathers can become damaged and i've even had to super glue tips back on wing feathers from a peacock when the feather got bent and snapped off right at the tip. Wings are fragile because the bird replaces its own feathers but the mounted animal only has one set. So... tatty feathers are common. Also, when you spill something on a bird, the feathers stick together and never get the preening needed to retin their shape. Remember, animals create oil with their glands and skin, so without it, the fur gets dull or feathers get dusty and not waterproof. Dust will stick to the oil initially and even when brushed off, it sort of turns dusty and dirty because the animal is no longer alive and regenerating.
     
    Nihal and Shreddies like this.
  6. DassaultMirage

    DassaultMirage Minstrel

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    The main frame should stay. I mean thats what taxidermy is for right? Mold will depend on the humidity, and bald spots on the fur will depend on human intervention, which in the case of your story, seems not a factor.
     
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