Taxidermy (from Greek τάξις it is putting in an order and δέρμα is a skin, hide) is a method of making of models of animals with its skin. The skin is usually mounted on some basis, a skeleton and is stuffed with a filler. Taxidermy is used mainly for making of museum-pieces, and also for keeping hunting trophies.
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For making such a model of the dead representatives of fauna the parts of the body with the least of damages on a hide are used. To keep original appearance, the skin is frozen or put in 70% solution of alcohol.
A metallic or wooden framework serves as basis for making the model. At the soft stuffing a necessary form is given to the model by filling with a soft material (tow, cotton wool). At making of a model with the use of dummy, the skin is put on the prepared hard model of animal. The dummy copies the figure of animal in the set pose, done by either a method of winding a soft material on framework or by shaping a metallic net, papier-mache, plastic or assembling foam.
After that the skin is naturalized, which is the process of giving the model the most natural look. For this, it is usually being painted, glued with some replacing materials, as the glass for eyes, or plastic for claws, and set into position that could be considered natural for the animal in its habitat.
The main area of use for taxidermy is making the models for museums of natural sciences or as a show-piece for various exhibition or an exhibit for a private collection. Such show-pieces are often all it is left from extinct species, and may be used for shows and studies. Other reasons for creating the model are either conservation the memory about deceased pet or keeping a hunting trophy.
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