Essay On Taxidermy

Words: 1998
Pages: 8

Taxidermy is the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals to achieve a life-like effect. It’s an art because the taxidermist has to be creative and look at what he or she is doing to watch the mount take shape. Taxidermy gained major popularity in the 19th century, but there is evidence of it being done as early as ancient Egyptian times. The Egyptians would mummify their cats and dogs and bury the pets in the tombs with them. They would take out the organs and then place salts and spices on the animals, and then wrap them in linen.The Egyptians believed that if they mummified the animals it would work as sacrifices to their gods. So many animals were mummified that researches believe that 70 million animal mummies were …show more content…
This method was called stuffing the animal, because they literally stuffed whatever inside the animal. Stuffing lead to inaccuracies and bad mounts because they weren’t paying attention to the anatomy of the animals, or working to actually preserve the animal. However, there is a rhinoceros in Royal Museum of Vertebrates in Florence, Italy that is believed to be the oldest mount in the history of taxidermy. This mount is believed to have been made in 1500.(“Taxidermy: The Artistry of Preserving Bodies” 2013) There are also other mounts that have survived the years. There is a display of exotic birds from the West Indies that also dates back to the 16th century. Finally, a deer that was killed by King Frederick IV of Denmark in 1671 is displayed at the Museum of Hunting and Forestry in Horsholm, Denmark. To see how the deer has stayed together for this long, scientists took the mount and had it x-rayed. With the x-ray, the scientists were able to find out that the deer was being held together by a large number of pins. This was a cutting edge technique that helped to revolutionize taxidermy at the