Preserving critters (was Re: NANFA-- Mr. Fuzzy)

Shireen Gonzaga (
Tue, 11 Jan 2000 23:58:27 -0500

Katrina said:

> Keep that molt!

Oh yes, I have all of Mr. Fuzzy's molts. :-)

> I even started to put them in a mold with resin so they could be
> "handled." They make nifty paperweights and conversation pieces -
> and are a lot sturdier too

How is that done? Can you buy kits at craft stores to do
stuff like that? I have some shells and fragile horseshoe crab
molts I'd like to preserve. And I guess it could also be useful
for preserved fish and aquatic plant specimens, for use in
classrooms and such--is such a thing possible?

Tangent: Nature has been doing it with amber for millions of
years. I remember working on a story around the time Jurassic
Park came out--scientists were able to extract partial DNA
strands from an amber-preserved insect aged at about 200
million years, found in Lebanon. Amazing!

A related question, how much color information can be
preserved in formalin when preserving fish specimens? Does
it depend on the species, or the pigments that cause the

> I have a huge King Crab molt that my husband and I brought to WA
> from Canada and I mounted it on a plaque and sprayed it with a
> protective coat just like the taxidermy guys do and it is really cool!

That sounds really neat! What kind of protective coat do you
use? I have some fragile molluscan and fish vertebrae fossils
from the Calvert Cliffs formation in MD that could benefit from
a dose of that spray.

> The other good thing about the resin stuff is that if you use
> a curved mold it magnifies them and you can then compare all
> kinds of features that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise!

Cool! I have to try that!

- shireen

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