Preparation of rat skulls

Rod Seppelt rod_sep at ANTDIV.GOV.AU
Tue Apr 2 10:59:11 CST 1996

Dear readers
Apologies for directing the request this way but hopefully someone
may be able to steer me in the right direction across the
electronic airwaves.

I (well, actually a student I am jointly supervising) have a
problem regarding the preparation of rat skulls (small mammals
really) for examination of bone structures.
When the skulls are treated in 7 percent potassium hydroxide the
jugal bone of the zygomatic arch becomes very soft and falls away.
This poses a major problem as the bone is critical in skull

If the concentration is dropped to 5 percent, the skulls need to
remain in the solution longer all the bone structure is affected
and the skulls become more or less useless.

Apart from using beetles to remove any fleshy material from the
skulls, does anyone use, or know of anyone using, another method -
e.g., gentle boiling in water with subsequent bleaching in peroxide
- successfully.

Again, apologies for directing the query through this channel but
my internet navigational skills are far from perfect!

Rod Seppelt

More information about the Taxacom mailing list