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(tăk`sĭdûr'mē), process of skinning, preserving, and mounting vertebrate animals so that they still appear lifelike. The fur or feathers are cleaned, and the skin, treated with a cleansing and preserving preparation, is mounted on an artificial skeleton. At first, taxidermy was used for the preservation of skins, hunting trophies, and travel souvenirs. Animals were literally stuffed; they were hung downward and filled with straw. Today, taxidermy is employed mainly by museums of science, although by the early years of the 21st cent. the use of this process in dioramas and other museum displays had become much less common. Carl E. AkeleyAkeley, Carl Ethan
, 1864–1926, American naturalist, animal sculptor, and author, b. Orleans co., N.Y. He served (1887–95) at the Museum of Milwaukee; from 1895 to 1909 he was at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and from 1909 he was affiliated with the
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 devised a method of mounting that is now standard. The true contours of the specimen are preserved by making a clay model, exactly duplicating the animal's muscle structure, over an armature that includes the original skeleton or parts of it. A plaster mold is then made, from which is produced a light, durable frame that holds the skin in position. Synthetic materials, especially celluloids, are now often used to reproduce the true color and translucence of such specimens as reptiles and fishes.


See M. Milgrom, Still Life (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the stuffing and mounting of animals, in which a metal or wooden framework forms the base. If soft stuffing material is used, such as oakum or cotton batting, the necessary shape is imparted as the hide is stuffed. If an artificial body is used, the skin is stretched over a rigid model of the animal. The artificial body is a copy of the animal in a particular pose. It may be made by winding soft material onto a framework, or it may consist of a metal mesh, papier-mâché, or plastic. (See alsoPREPARATION.)


Zaslavskii, M. A. Izgotovlenie chuchel, muliazhei i modelei zhivotnykh: Obshchaia taksidermiia. Leningrad, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
From the traditional taxidermists who mount their husbands' hunting trophies in the basement, to the artsy kids who tattoo animal hides in studios, taxidermy is gaining popularity among women." It's going through a real renaissance right now," says Resleure.
The word taxidermy comes from two ancient Greek words: "taxis," meaning movement, and "derma," meaning skin.
In addition to the strengths of the dialogue, Yamanaka's descriptions of taxidermy and pig-hunting are, exceptionally well done, often visceral, always accurate.
Almost overnight the trade changed with the major taxidermy supply houses scrambling to meet this new demand.
In today's world, I believe taxidermy is almost always inappropriate, except for in museums or other places where the study of animals is conducted.
Thieves used angle grinders to break into London Taxidermy, which has supplied props for films such as Paddington and Harry Potter and TV shows including Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and Made in Chelsea, making off with 18 animals and antiques in a Luton van.
Not only did she feel as though these creatures had received "a terrible send-off," she "felt so bad that [their previous owners] thought they were of no value." Coyne decided that she "was going to make them valuable." The inclination to bestow worth on pounds of dead fish and numerous pieces of unwanted taxidermy was fed not only by environmentalist inclinations but feminist ideologies.
" Her blog is now in its fifth year and is considered the oldest and biggest online collection of bizarre taxidermy from around the world" Her blog is now in its fifth year and is considered the oldest and biggest online collection of bizarre taxidermy from around the world and has been featured in national newspapers and television.
Yet that would have robbed me of Alexis Turner's fascinating book, simply titled Taxidermy, which may be instrumental in bringing back stuffed things from the dead and reassessing them as currently the height of cool.
The exhibition will include rare pieces of taxidermy by John Hancock - including the extinct Huia Bird from New Zealand - in addition to specimens and drawings by Albany Hancock and watercolours by Mary Jane.