Photo Of The Day

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History

Museum Staff Cleaning Elephant skin

How do you stuff an elephant?  The obvious answer is ‘with great difficulty’.

Just look at their size, and you wonder… how, do these dead animals get to look so alive?

Few people realise that, when you look at a ‘stuffed’ animal, you’re looking at a tanned skin that’s been skillfully fitted over a postured mannequin or a replica of the animal’s body, and not at a preserved carcass.

That might be blindingly obvious  but, believe it or not, most people do honestly think that a taxiderm mount is a pickled or freeze-dried  carcass, or a carcass that has had its innards ripped out and replaced with straw or cotton wool or something.

For small animals, the mannequin might be made from plaster, wood, plastic, wood wool, or any number of other materials, but for a giant thing like an elephant, a pseudo-skeleton has to be constructed from wood, metal and plaster (or their more modern equivalents), and this in turn is used to support mesh, cloth and eventually clay.

  • motorizer

    Sounds like a mammoth of a job.

    • Night Stick

      Too big a job for Len?

  • sandynobb

    Would Meteria Turei’s arse look big in this outfit?

    • Col

      She wouldn’t fit it.

  • blokeintakapuna

    It’s hard to forget when you’ve got so much skin in the game…

    • 1951

      oh dear, did she tan your hide?

  • Bunswalla

    This belongs to Lyin Lenny PDB.

    It’s true – he has the hide of an elephant.

  • Col

    Wonderful beasts, but when they decide to have a riot watch TF out, anything goes.
    Seen one young bull take a village apart, not a happy sit.

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