The inner workings of taxidermy

Our friends from Treacle Theatre, as part of their work on NLOB, have recently had Dr Pat Morris in at Rossendale Museum x-raying the taxidermy. While nothing truly remarkable showed up on the x-rays, they are still fascinating insights into the process. Kaspar and Susanne are going to go into greater detail later, but I thought I’d just share a couple of the images in a “mystery object” style to see what you all make of them.

Here’s object number one, I suspect this will be an easy one:



And here is object number two. Maybe a little more tricky:

As ever, your thoughts, comments, and suggestions are welcomed.


David Craven



Filed under Objects, The project

9 responses to “The inner workings of taxidermy

  1. Michael

    1. Duck Billed Platypus
    2. Looks like a Fibre Optic christmas tree, that someone has hung a shell on, and some rosary beads.
    Although I may be wrong….

    • David Craven

      There is a Playtpus that was scanned, but this isn’t it. Not far off though.

      You did spot the gastropod in the second though.

  2. vinaiblackburn

    The second one has me completely stumped. A Manta-Ray perhaps?

  3. Disgusting abuse of intellectual property rights!

    The first looks like an Echidna, probably the Short-beaked Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus .

    The second one is tricky, it brings to mind a Gould Hummingbird tree with the birds removed, but I’m not sure that snails were used much in such displays. That’s still my best guess though.

    • David Craven

      Ah, this is clearly a WMO!

      You are on the right lines with the second one, but not hummingbirds.

      • I’ll guess butterflies and moths then – it would explain the pins. It could be other insects, but this sort of display was usually more about colour and visual appeal than scientific value, so I’m guessing something a bit showy.

        Of course, I could be wrong!

      • PaoloV wins a cuddly toy. We’ll post a picture of the case in the next few days.

  4. Mike Elkins

    The first one looks like a mole. And the second one looks like some sort of marine plant? Coral? Looks like a graptolite in the bottom right of the image.

  5. David Craven

    Paolo got both right. First is short-beaked echidna, second is a tree of butterflies. I loved the second pic, the way the intended subjects of the piece disappeared entirely.

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