Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wet Preservation

When I think of suitable ways to preserve mammals, wet preservation (detailed here) isn't the first method that comes to mind. While alcohol and formalin are the preservatives of choice for invertebrates, fish, and herptiles, wet preservation does have its place in the mammal division, as well. For one, it's extremely useful for pickling small animals, such as bats and mice. When I visited the mammal division's fluids range last week, I marveled at just how many bats or mice could be crammed into a single Ball jar.

Fruit Bats

Another forte of wet preservation is its ability to preserve animal fetuses, which tend to be extremely fragile.

Fetal Beaver

Fetal Armadillos

Oddly enough, many of the wet-preserved animals seemed more peaceful than their taxidermy counterparts.

Fetal Sloth

Caracal Kitten

In a matter of weeks, all of these specimens will be moved off-site, for safety purposes. I feel lucky that I had the chance to see and photograph them.


  1. My sister just showed me your blog; it's wonderful! I'm glad to have found a fellow admirer of just how beautiful animals are--regardless of what stage of the natural cycle they happen to be in. I really appreciate the sensitivity you photograph with, too many photographers of decay choose to depict it as gore and gore alone.

    So yeah, I've subscribed :) Thanks for serving as some good inspiration for my own animal photography! (you've definitely inspired me to get a better lens ASAP hahaha)

  2. I am absolutely thrilled to have been directed to this blog and be exposed to that shot of the armadillo fetuses. Thanks for posting! ^__^