How to Preserve Animal Bones for Display

You can preserve animal bones for display by following a few simple steps. First, you need to clean the bones. Second, you need to degrease the bones. Finally, you need to whiten the bones.

Checkout this video:

Introduction

How Do Fossils Give Evidence of Bio...
How Do Fossils Give Evidence of Biological Evolution?

Animal bones are a popular material for both professional and amateur natural history displays. There are many ways to clean and preserve bones but the methods described below are the simplest and most effective. With a little time and effort, you can create a beautiful and educational display that will last for many years.

What You’ll Need

To preserve your animal bones for display, you will need:

-Airtight containers (jars or boxes)
-Baking soda
-Rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol)
-Cotton balls or pads
-Paper towels
-Wire mesh or cheesecloth (optional)

##Instructions:

1. Clean the bones with soap and water, then let them air dry completely.
2. Fill the containers with baking soda, covering the bones completely. You can also add a layer of cotton balls or pads soaked in rubbing alcohol for extra protection.
3. Cover the containers tightly and store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
4. Check on the bones every few months and replenish the baking soda as needed.
5. When you’re ready to display the bones, simply brush off any remaining baking soda and arrange them as desired. If desired, you can secure them to a wire mesh or cheesecloth backing for added stability.

Cleaning the Bones

Cleaning the Bones
The first step in preserving animal bones for display is to clean them. This can be done by boiling them in water for several hours or by soaking them in a weak bleach solution. Once the bones are clean, they can be allowed to air dry or placed in a low-temperature oven to speed up the drying process.

Degreasing the Bones

The first step in preparing your bones for display is to degrease them. This can be done by boiling the bones in a solution of water and dish soap for several hours. You can also use commercial degreasing products, following the instructions on the label. Once the bones are degreased, they can be cleaned with a weak acid solution to remove any remaining grease and dirt.

Whitening the Bones

One of the most important steps in preserving bones for display is whitening them. This makes the bones look more aesthetically pleasing and also helps to prevent them from becoming stained. There are a few different methods that can be used to whiten bones, but the most common is bleaching.

To bleached bones, you will need:
-A clean work surface
-A container large enough to fit the bone(s) you want to bleach
-A measuring cup
-hydrogen peroxide
-Water
-Bleach (optional)

Instructions:
1. Place the bone(s) on a clean work surface. If the bone is very dirty, you may want to scrub it with a brush first.
2. Pour hydrogen peroxide into the container until it is about half full. You can use more or less depending on how many bones you are bleaching, but this is a good starting point.
3. Add water to the container until it is full. The ratio of hydrogen peroxide to water should be 1:1.
4. Optional: Add a splash of bleach to the mixture. This will help to speed up the bleaching process, but it is not necessary.
5. Place the bone(s) into the mixture and make sure they are completely submerged.
6. Allow the bone(s) to soak for 24 hours, or until they are as light as you want them to be.
7 .Once they have finished soaking, remove them from the mixture and rinse them off under running water

Preparing for Display

Whether you’re an amateur naturalist or a professional archaeologist, you may want to preserve animal bones for display. Preparing bones for display is a lengthy process that can take weeks or even months, but the result is a beautiful and educational display that will last for years.

The first step is to clean the bones. This can be done with soap and water, or with a stronger cleanser like bleach. Once the bones are clean, they need to be dried. This can be done by setting them out in the sun or in a warm, dry place

Once the bones are dry, they need to be treated to prevent them from decaying. This can be done by soaking them in a solution of Borax and water, or by covering them with shellac or lacquer.

Once the bones are treated, they can be put on display. A simple display can be made by mounting the bones on a piece of plywood or cardboard, or by displaying them in a glass case. More elaborate displays can be made by constructing a false bottom in a glass case and arranging the bones on top of it, or by suspending the bones from wires.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the basics of how to preserve animal bones for display, it’s time to get started on your own project. Remember to take your time and be patient – the results will be worth it!

FAQs

Q: I want to make sure my animal bones are preserved for display. How can I do this?

There are several ways to preserve animal bones for display. One common method is to soak the bones in a solution of bleach and water. This will kill any bacteria that may be present and will also help to whiten the bones. Another method is to soak the bones in a solution of Borax and water. This will help to deter pests and will also help to preserve the bone’s structure.

Q: Should I remove the flesh from the bone before I begin preservation?

It is not necessary to remove all of the flesh from the bone before beginning preservation, but it can help to speed up the process. You can remove the flesh by scraping it off with a blunt knife or by using a dermabrasion tool. If you choose to leave some flesh on the bone, be aware that it may decay over time and should be monitored closely.

Q: What is the best way to clean animal bones before preservation?

The best way to clean animal bones before preservation is to simmer them in water for several hours. This will loosen any dried tissue or residue that may be present on the bone surface. Once simmered, the bones can then be scrubbed with a stiff brush to remove any remaining debris.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about how to preserve animal bones for display, there are a few resources we recommend.

The first is “Preparing Animal Bones for Display or Scientific Study” by the University of Arizona’s Office of Arid Lands Studies. This guide provides detailed instructions on how to clean and degrease bones, as well as how to remove flesh and connective tissue.

Next is “The Basics of Bone Preparation” by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. This guide covers the basics of bone preparation, including cleaning, degreasing, and mounting.

Finally, we recommend “Bone Mounting 101” by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This guide covers everything from what type of glue to use to how to position your bones for optimal display.

Credits

This guide was created by the staff of the Department of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution.