Visual Encyclopedia

Taxidermy

Taxidermy is the preserving of an animal's body via stuffing or mounting for the purpose of display or study. Animals are often, but not always, portrayed in a lifelike state. The word taxidermy refers to the process of preserving the animal, but the word is also used to describe the end product, which are often called "mounts". The word taxidermy is derived from the Greek words "taxis" and "derma". Taxis means to "to move", and "derma" means "skin" (the dermis). The word taxidermy translates to "arrangement of skin". Taxidermy is practiced primarily on vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and less commonly on amphibians) but can also be done to larger insects and arachnids under some circumstances. Taxidermy takes on a number of forms and purposes, including natural history museum displays, hunting trophies, study skins, and is sometimes used as a means to memorialize pets. A person who practices taxidermy is called a taxidermist. They may practice professionally for museums or as businesses catering to hunters and fishermen, or as amateurs, such as hobbyists, hunters, and fishermen. A taxidermist is aided by familiarity with anatomy, sculpture, painting, and tanning.

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Found within the museum on College of the Ozarks' campus

Contributed by Brittany Jones

What an interesting subject, but more peculiar job!

Contributed by Caroline Duval

A brief history of taxidermy and the process in general!

Contributed by Brandi Nevius

Unfortunately, taxidermy projects often go awry. As explained in the video attached, many taxidermists utilize generic manikins for typically generic animal body types. However, as with every living creature, bodily shapes vary depending upon muscle definition and other minute details. Hence, applying skin from a former living animal to a generic manikin can frequently go not exactly as planned!

Contributed by Brandi Nevius

From the magnificent YouTube channel Vsauce, here's an interesting approach to taxidermy...and why human beings are not often subjects of such a task. Enjoy!

Contributed by Brandi Nevius

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