Date of Award

Spring 1944

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences


A likely specimen, one of comparatively large size and complete development, was first obtained. Size, age, and development are important for the assurance of hardened bones and well developed teeth which are essential for a successful skeletal preparation. Such animals as the type to be used can often be procured by inquiring at the city police station where unwanted and stray animals are taken to be disposed of. Killing, fleshing, macerating, degreasing, bleaching, and mounting are the necessary steps in producing skeletons of really high quality. Each of the above stages must be carefully performed and controlled. The completed preparation should be found strong and durably mounted in natural positions: it should be bleached a uniform ivory white, free from grease and lastly it should be preserved and protected with a transparent, water-proofing substance. The cat was killed by placing i t in an air-tight box of convenient size, which contained a chloroform-saturated piece of cotton. Death occurred in about three minutes. Great care must be taken in the fleshing of the animal so that the connective ligaments are not cut which hold the bones in natural arrangement. Nevertheless, the flesh has to be removed thoroughly to prevent the bones from separating in the maceration process. In the procedure of removing the muscles, however, some of the connective elements were destroyed and had to be compensated for with wire when mounting.

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