Degreasing: In the field of taxidermy and osteology, degreasing refers to the process of removing fats and oils from animal skulls and bones. This step is crucial in the preparation and preservation of skeletal specimens, as residual fats and oils can cause discoloration, odor, and the deterioration of the bone over time.

Key aspects and benefits of the degreasing process include:

Preservation Quality: Proper degreasing helps ensure that the bones and skulls are preserved in a high-quality state. It prevents the yellowing or greasiness that can occur if fats and oils are left in the bone.

Cleaning Methods: Degreasing can be accomplished through various methods, depending on the size of the specimen and the amount of grease present. Common techniques include soaking the bones in solutions like ammonia, dish detergent, or specialized degreasing agents. For more delicate specimens, enzymatic cleaners or gentler soaps may be used.

Duration and Care: The process can take from a few days to several weeks, depending on the specimen’s size and the extent of greasiness. It often involves soaking the bones and changing the solution periodically, followed by thorough rinsing.

Importance for Final Presentation: Degreasing is vital for achieving a clean, natural-looking finish on the bone. It’s especially important for specimens that will be displayed or used for educational purposes, as it ensures a more aesthetically pleasing and odor-free presentation.

Preventive Measures: Degreasing is a preventive measure against potential decay or degradation caused by residual organic matter within the bone matrix. Properly degreased bones are more stable and long-lasting.