Looking for a very specific birthday present
February 6, 2015 8:02 AM   Subscribe

A friend's birthday is coming up and I know something he'd really like - a pelican skull - I just have no idea how to find it. He owns a few different bones (oxen, turtle) that he has amassed during his travels and awhile back was lamenting not being able to pick up a pelican skull, which apparently has a unique shape. I have looked online, but everything I am able to find is just a replica. Is there any place online or elsewhere that I would be able to track down such a specific item?
posted by C'est la D.C. to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Etsy has one, but it's painted. Possibly useful as a last resort.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 8:09 AM on February 6, 2015

Best answer: Migratory birds like pelicans in the US and Canada are protected by the Migratory Bird Act which prohibits buying, selling, and even just owning bird parts (skulls, feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) so you will not be able to find legal pelican skulls for sale. I would also guess importing of skulls from countries outside the MBA is too tightly regulated to do it easily.

(Birds not covered by the MBA are things like blackbirds so no cool skulls)

(Also this is all assuming you and/or your friend are in North America)

That said, The Bone Room in Albany, CA has some really cool bones for other bone-related gift ideas.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:10 AM on February 6, 2015 [6 favorites]

Another good place for related items (and questions) is The Evolution Store, which describes itself as "NYC's premiere retail destination for science and natural history collectibles, artifacts, gifts, and home furnishings." And you can get a pelican skull replica from them if you decide to buy one.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:25 AM on February 6, 2015 [2 favorites]

Honestly, replicas (especially the expensive ones) are getting better and better. Some are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. You don't have the same cachet of it having actually been a real creature, but in light of the real thing being illegal, I'd still be really happy with a nice replica.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:05 AM on February 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could also try Paxton Gate in San Francisco. They don't have bird skulls, but they have mammal skulls, taxidermied animals, insects, and other cool stuff your friend might enjoy.
posted by pompelmo at 12:30 PM on February 6, 2015

« Older Strategies for not being physically afraid?   |   Learning to Read at a Higher Level Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.