After another week of macerating, the deer bones are looking and smelling better than ever! Progress is slow, since most of what’s left on these bones is cartilage and connective tissue, both of which are always difficult to remove. The worst of it is on the vertebrae, humeri, and femurs, but the dish brush has helped chip away at some of what’s left, and every little bit counts!
I checked in on my raccoon skull today, too, and was happy to see that it looked much lighter after drying out:
Now that the skull is dry, I can compare it to past photos and see how much cleaner it is (for comparison, this is what it looked like eight months ago). The most noticeable difference is on the right side of the skull, where those dark areas have been gradually lightened by repeated degreasing baths. I can tell that this skull is still greasy because of the soft, satiny texture and slight shine present on those darker spots (you can see it in the photos below), so this specimen will need to degrease for at least a couple more months… probably longer.
Also, looking back on this post, I realized that I found this skull just over a year ago! It’s been a long process, and I still have lots of work ahead of me, but I can’t help but feel encouraged by the progress I’ve made so far. Here’s to another productive year of bone cleaning!