All You Need to Know About Professional Taxidermists
February 26, 2022

Taxidermy is a unique practice that involves the careful treatment of animals to exhibit or display them. This approach offers tourists close access to v arious natural history museums , allowing them to see animals th ey would ordinarily not encounter. However, the practice of taxidermy is a craft that requires highly specialized skill sets and an in-depth understanding of animals. These are the attributes that a professional taxidermist is expected to possess before engag ing in taxidermy.

In this post, we shall be examining wh o a taxidermist is , w hat they do , and their various career requirements.

Who is a Taxidermist?

Taxidermists are innovative and creative experts with a scientific background in preserving dead animals through artistic and technical skills. They engage in recreating an animal in the exact way they appeared in life and posing them in life -like ways. They help preserve the trophy collection of hunters and anglers, and their works usually include birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles. 

Step-by-Step Guide on the Activities of a Taxidermist

The kind of work a taxidermist does depends on the type of animal they are to preserve and their clients’ expectations. However, their tasks often include the following:

Taking measurements: T axidermists often start their work by taking detailed measurements of the animal’s body to get the correct stature and create the desired sized mount.

Removing t he Animal hide : A fter taking measurements, the taxidermist eliminates the animal hide by making as few cuts as possible.

Tanning the Pelt: They tan the pelt to preserve it and remove moisture. This ensures the hide can last for years without decay.

Building a Frame: the taxidermist constructs a frame in the shape of the animal that would be used to mount the taxidermy animal. The structure is detailed and may take the form of a paper mâché or wire.

Mounting the hide: after the frame is complete, the taxidermist covers with glue and then attaches the hide and sews it into place. 

Adding Details: After the hide is in place, the taxidermist can include other details about the animal, such as glass eyes. They can also reconstruct parts of the animal, such as the nose with clay or other material.

Mounting the Animal: After reconstructing the animal, the taxidermist proceeds to mount the animal over a wooden plaque or manikin, depending on the customer’s preference. 

Career Requirements of Taxidermy

Becoming a taxidermist requires a detailed understanding of the anatomy of animals to ensure that their recreation is as realistic as possible. While many taxidermists engage in private practice without formal educational degrees, those working in educational institutions such as museums and schools require undergraduate degrees. The essential career requirements of taxidermy include:

Learning about animals

Developing art skills

Enrolling in a taxidermy course

Acquire the necessary certification and licenses

S t art your own taxidermy business

Becoming a taxidermist requires detailed knowledge of animal anatomy, which is vital towards recreating life-like mounts of taxidermy animals. The practice has been considered an art because it is intrinsically linked to nature and requires understanding the natural world.