Hide: In taxidermy, the term “hide” refers to the skin of an animal, which is a crucial component in the art and craft of creating lifelike animal displays. The hide includes the fur, hair, or feathers of the animal and is preserved through a process called tanning. This process transforms the animal skin from a perishable material into a durable and flexible form that can be used for mounting.

The preparation of the hide is a meticulous process. It begins with the careful removal of the skin from the animal’s body, ensuring that it is kept intact. Once removed, the hide undergoes cleaning, where all flesh, fat, and connective tissues are scraped away. It is then treated with chemicals or natural agents in the tanning process to prevent decay and to maintain its flexibility.

The quality of a taxidermy specimen greatly depends on the condition and treatment of the hide. A well-prepared hide allows the taxidermist to recreate the animal’s appearance realistically. It is mounted over a sculpted form that mimics the animal’s anatomy, and the hide is carefully positioned and adjusted to replicate natural poses and expressions.

Hides can be sourced from various animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, and are used in creating trophies, museum exhibits, educational models, and artistic displays. The art of working with hides in taxidermy requires not only technical skills but also an understanding of animal anatomy and a respect for wildlife.