Building Bones: rearticulating animal skeletons with Lee Post and others
November 5, 2015 12:47 PM Subscribe
In the late 1970s, a bicycle mechanic named Lee Post moved to Homer, Alaska to run a small bookstore with his mother. He also volunteered at the town's natural history museum, where he took on the task of assembling a beaked whale skeleton.This is the story of how a bookseller from Homer, Alaska became the an international animal skeleton re-assembly expert (Bay Nature).
Post thought, well, I've repaired bikes — surely I can repair a whale skeleton if I have a book to follow, and conveniently, I run a bookstore. He searched for any books about reconstructing whale skeletons. “There was no such thing,” he says.
See also: The lost and found art of assembling whale skeletons (Atlas Obscura). Lee calls himself the Boneman, and has a website dedicated sharing information that he has learned about skeleton articulation, or bone building as he calls it.
While he shares a good bit of his information for free, if you want to get really in-depth information on how to articulate specific animal skeletons, he has 9 books on that very topic, plus a Bone Guide To Selected Land Mammals of the Northwestern States.
But if you want a quick and dirty how-to, there are a few of those online, including some write-ups from:
- Jake McGowan-Lowe (fox rearticulation part 1 and part 2, badger rearticulation part 1 and part 2, and how to clean animal bones - the complete guide), the young bone collector, naturalist, blogger and author who was discussed on MetaFilter previously
- How to Prepare an Animal Skeleton for Display, by Steven J. Wamback on Act For Libraries.org - it's just text, unlike Jake's guide with photos of each step, but Steven did include sources, some of which are listed next
- An Articulated Phytosaur Skeleton: Preparation Techniques from Field to Exhibit (PDF), by Kyle S. McQuilkin, B.F.A - a thesis in Museum Science at Texas Tech University
- Vertebrate Skeletons: Preparation and Storage (PDF), a Conserve O Gram from the National Park Service, 2006
- Will's Skull Page (previously) has two guides on preparing skulls: skull preparation without photos, and skull preparation with photos (note: includes an image of removing flesh from a dead badger skull)
- Method for the preparation of skeletal mounts (PDF): Lepaw – July 1956 – US Pat. # 2755165
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