Stinky turtle bits
November 27, 2012 9:47 AM   Subscribe

How do I preserve this stinky turtle carapace?

My wonderful Great Dane, Scooby Dude has presented me with a really cool turtle carapace this morning. It is about 16 inches long with most (but not all) the flesh and skin stripped away. The skeleton is nearly intact and I think all the bones are still there. Unfortunately it is still stinky and wettish. I would love to preserve this thing but I'm unsure the best way to do it. Should I just put it somewhere protected outside and let it dry out before picking out the remaining soft tissue? Are there other curing methods that are not too complicated or expensive to implement? If I can save it, it will be a wonderful addition to our odd little collection of lake side finds. Thanks in advance!
posted by txmon to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Best answer: Put it on an fire ant pile for a while. They'll clean out all the stinky, hard to reach areas for you.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:59 AM on November 27, 2012

If you have access to ants, they do a pretty good job.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:59 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Find a good milk crate, a wire one is best. Put the remains outside, somewhere that kids and curious adults won't mess with it, on the ground, put the milk crate over it, and make sure you have enough rocks, bricks, cement blocks, whatever to keep any local large critters (I'm not sure what those would be in Texas, but up here it would be raccoons, large carrion birds, coyotes, dogs, cats, and such). Leave it outside for a couple of weeks, or until the bugs have cleaned that thing off.
posted by HuronBob at 9:59 AM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Get yourself some Dermestes Maculatus... not that I know how you'd get them, I just know that's what museums use.
posted by Blake at 10:09 AM on November 27, 2012

I know someone who does this sort of thing by packing it in salt.
posted by corb at 10:46 AM on November 27, 2012

Burying for a few months works for conch shells.
posted by mike_bling at 12:46 PM on November 27, 2012

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