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Skeleton Building

226 reviews


Areas of Science
Time Required
Long (2-4 weeks)
Material Availability
Readily available
Very Low (under $20)
Use only food-grade animals for this project. Do not use roadkill or other dead animals from unknown sources, as such animals might have died from diseases. Wear gloves and safety goggles, and use caution when handling bleach and other chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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Do you like skeletons? One of the more interesting jobs at a natural history museum is the creation and care of the skeletons and bones. How do the curators clean and put together the skeletons? Many curators use the carrion beetle, Dermestes vulpinus, to quickly clean off the dead animal tissue from a corpse to reveal the skeleton. These insects do such a good job that sometimes the skeleton remains intact! Another method is to slow cook the carcass until the meat falls off. You can use a crock pot to slow cook the meat off of bones from a chicken, quail, duck or goose. You can also find a rabbit or frog at some meat counters. After slow cooking the carcass, you can carefully separate the bones from the meat (which might be tasty). Then you can clean the bones by soaking in full strength household bleach or full strength drugstore grade hydrogen peroxide. Allow the bones to dry thoroughly for several days. Now you are ready to put together one dandy of a jigsaw puzzle! You can use wood glue to put the pieces back together. Good luck, if you finish you can have a very cool skeleton collection!
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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Skeleton Building." Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p038/zoology/skeleton-building. Accessed 30 May 2023.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Skeleton Building. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Zoo_p038/zoology/skeleton-building

Last edit date: 2017-07-28
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