What’s Taxidermy?

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Taxidermy is the art of preserving an animal’s skin onto a replica of its body. It requires skill and knowledge of animals. The process involves removing the skin, creating a realistic figure, and recreating organs. Taxidermy can be used for trophies, education, and conservation. Synthetic recreations are also possible. Interested individuals can visit a local taxidermist to learn more.

The word taxidermy comes from the Greek derma. Just like the term epidermis, the dermis refers to the outer layer of skin. Since the process of taxidermy involves removing the skin from an animal’s shell, then transferring that skin onto a precisely crafted replica of the animal’s body, the term makes sense. While the process is sometimes seen as unpleasant or even macabre by some people, taxidermy is an art form, requiring great knowledge of animals as well as talent, skill and expertise.

The craftsman must remove the skin from the animal’s remains, build a realistic figure of the animal’s form, and create lifelike facsimiles of the eyes and any other organs. The figure is often made from polyurethane foam, while glass is typically used to draw the eyes. Wax and clay are often used to recreate parts such as lips and snouts.

Taxidermy is a method of permanently preserving an animal to display its beauty. While some people have a taxidermist who preserves their hunting prey as a trophy, others may use embalming to preserve animals for educational or historical purposes. Taxidermy can be used in the event of the death of a creature on the endangered species list. It can also be used in other cases where conservation is important, such as if the creature is unique to its species in being the largest, smallest, oldest, or otherwise notable.

Taxidermy is also the term used to describe synthetic recreations, which do not contain the skin or other body elements of an animal or fish. For this creative process, quality photography and accurate measurements are all that is needed to create a realistic frame or trophy. A catch-and-release sportsman can use this method to recreate the “big one” without harming the fish.

If you would like to learn more about taxidermy, check your local telephone directory or search online for a taxidermist near you. You can visit the shop and see how realistic the recreations are. Most artists are happy to answer questions about taxidermy.

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