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The Basics of Taxidermy

Ben Mears, featured on an episode of The Specialists, is a professional taxidermist that takes us through the ins and outs of taxidermy. These videos explain the basics of taxidermy.

What Is Taxidermy?


Taxidermy is an art that specializes in the process of putting animal skin on a mannequin to make it look lifelike again. There are three methods of taxidermy: skin mounts, reproductions or freeze-dried method. Taxidermy comes from two Greek words; taxi means moving and derma means skin. 

Different Types of Taxidermy


A conventional skin mount is when you use the skin of an animal to put on a mannequin. A reproduction uses fiberglass or plastic to reproduce the animal. You will see this with many fish mounts that are painted. The freeze-dry method is when you freeze dry the whole animal. Turkey heads are often freeze dried for realism and it can be combined with the skin mount method.

Protecting and Storing an Animal Before Taxidermy


If you treat the whole animal as well as you treat the meat, your animal will be in the best shape possible for the taxidermist. Keep it cold and get to the taxidermist as soon as possible.

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