A lot of people think that taxidermy is all about stuffing a dead animal. Taxidermy has been a scientific art since the days of Carl Akeley and William Hornaday. Aside from taking accurate photos and measurements and make traces of animals, they would like to mount, taxidermy needs professionals to study the animal’s anatomy. Of course, the purpose of Boise taxidermy is to generate a specimen that’s true to life.
Here are several facts about taxidermy that you probably do not know:
The First Competition for Taxidermy
A Fight in the Tree-Tops by taxidermist William Hornaday was awarded the top prize. The First Competition for Taxidermy was held in America in 1880. It depicted 2 male Bornean orangutans fighting over a female. Hornaday’s taxidermy was extremely accurate scientifically that it changed the purpose of taxidermy. Because of this work, other taxidermists were inspired to aim for precision in their mounts as well.
A Lot of People Thought a Platypus Was a Hoax in 1798
A lot of people thought it was a hoax when Captain John Hunter sent the first sketch and pelt of platypus back to England. They thought that some people had sewn a bill of a duck to the coat of a beaver.
Rags and Sawdust
Before, taxidermy mounts were stuffed with rags and sawdust without regard for actual anatomy. Thus, oftentimes, the models were disfigured. The truth is that mounts before twisted how we imagined creatures such as dodo for years. Nowadays, taxidermists can buy a mannequin. They can then sculpt this mannequin to obtain the pose they desire, then sew and stretch the skin over it. They also produce their own using old techniques, such as the process in Victorian-era of winding out the shape of the body using string.
Early Proponents of Taxidermy
Charles Darwin and Captain James Cook were the early proponents of taxidermy. Cook purchased the first kangaroo skin back in 1771 in London. On the other hand, without his skill, Darwin would not have been permitted to travel as a naturalist on the HMS Beagle. Darwin learned the skill from a freed Guyanese slave.
England and Taxidermy
In the early 19th century, taxidermy started in England. High request for leather signified that tanning became normal. For those who don’t know, tanning is the process of changing the skin of an animal into preserved leather. Because of this process, it made the preservation of animals possible. Oftentimes, Victorians personified their taxidermy. They worked them into tableaus like the ones made by Walter Potter and dressed stuffed animals in clothes. Also, a lot of individuals were obsessed with animals that they were made deformed. Some of them were created to have extra legs or heads. These were called curiosities.
Louis Dufresne of the Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris was the first person to utilize the word “taxidermy”. For those who don’t know, taxidermy comes from the Greek words taxis, which means arrangement, and derma, which means skin. Dufresne wrote about taxidermy in the 1803 reference book.