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How can I preserve a snake shed?

pit 4 brains

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Me and the boy were out on an evening javelina hunt and I spotted this shed sticking out from under a rock. I VERY carefully undermined the rock and removed this shed intact. It is the most complete shed I have ever found in the wild and I'm looking for some ideas as to how to preserve it. I was thinking of a long box lined with some felt and a plastic lid. I could tack or tie the shed to the bottom and slide the plastic in a dado grove to form a lid..



It is from a Western Diamondback rattlesnake..
 

fpnmf

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Nice!!

I had one from a timber rattler a few years ago.

Put it between some narrow glass shelves.

Used silicone seal all the way around the edges.

Don't know who has it now.

  Craig
 

SmokinAl

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I'm sure someone will come along with an answer. Craig's idea sounds like a good one.
 

cowgirl

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I've tanned the hides but not preserved the sheds. They are so brittle, do they need to be treated with oil or anything? (I really have no idea).  Craig's idea sounds good to me too.

Looks like a nice one!
 

meateater

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Just seal them up in a case like you plan. Don't put anything on them. The snake sloughing will crumble if left in air. Humans slough "fancy word for shedding" 24/7, snakes just do it all at once. I use to breed snakes and saved the sheddings for the school district back in Calif. years ago.
 

pit 4 brains

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Thanx gang!

I was just considering cutting it down the middle to lay it out flat. I have some 40 year old cedar fence posts/lats that i am going to split and make a gnarly wood display case with.

So even though it will crumble in air, I shouldn't put any preservative of any kind on it?
 

meateater

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If left out to the elements it will basically turn to powder, eventually. If you make a case for it and try to eliminate that it should last for years if untouched.
 

Bearcarver

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I'm not so sure any of those things will keep them indefinitely.

When I was a kid, I had a butterfly collection for a 4H contest. They were sealed between glass & mounted in picture frames.

Eventually little microscopic (unseen to the naked eye) creatures ate the bodies & some of the wings from the inside out, and they just turned to dust.

They tell me those creatures were in the bodies all along, before I mounted them.

However,

I saved some crayfish shells that were moved out of by a growing owner, by spraying them with clear lacquer. That might help with a snake skin too.

Just my 2 cents.

Bear
 
Last edited:

fpnmf

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"I'm not so sure any of those things will keep them indefinitely.  "

 I agree.

  Have a great day!!

  Craig
 

pit 4 brains

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I'm not so sure any of those things will keep them indefinitely.

When I was a kid, I had a butterfly collection for a 4H contest. They were sealed between glass & mounted in picture frames.

Eventually little microscopic (unseen to the naked eye) creatures ate the bodies & some of the wings from the inside out, and they just turned to dust.

They tell me those creatures were in the bodies all along, before I mounted them.

However,

I saved some crayfish shells that were moved out of by a growing owner, by spraying them with clear lacquer. That might help with a snake skin too.

Just my 2 cents.

Bear
Everything carbon-based will become oil to be sold to some sorry sap with a diesel like me. I haven't had much spare time so the shed is just sitting on my bench. I'll bet a coating of laquer would help to stiffin it up a bit bi ut I'm concerned about the yellowing... we'll see when I get more time
 

Bearcarver

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Everything carbon-based will become oil to be sold to some sorry sap with a diesel like me. I haven't had much spare time so the shed is just sitting on my bench. I'll bet a coating of laquer would help to stiffin it up a bit bi ut I'm concerned about the yellowing... we'll see when I get more time
"Deft" Non-yellowing lacquer------$7.07:

13 oz. spray can of non-yellowing gloss lacquer. Seals and finishes interior woods, providing a deep, rich look. Apply on your furniture, cabinets, antiques and crafts. Covers approximately 25 sq.ft. Dries in 30 minutes. Apply second coat in two hours. Recommended for all interior jobs except floors.

http://www.cornerhardware.com/gloss_clear_wood_finish_13_oz._spray/6746_6936_7676/5510

Bear
 

oldschoolbbq

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Pit4brains, grab the Wife's hairspray and give it a couple good coats(drying between) and then box it, should be good for a few years.

I did a lot of Snake hunting in WestTexas,both for food and money-after skinning them I would use DE-natured Alcohol and Glyceren (both can be found at a Pharmacy). If you happen to find a decent size Diamond or Mojave , and decide to harveast it (sounds better than  "KILL") but have no intrest in the hide, send it to me and I can tan it for use. Those things would bring me $10 ea. , when I was doing it; and I at pretty good too
 With the Deer,Racoon and Snake meat . That was one of the best times I ever had. I was busted, no job, and living in my Gooseneck on the lake at Sweetwater,Tx. Oh, and single-I could do anything I wanted


Well, hope this was informative and remember to,
 

meateater

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Big difference between snake shed and snake skin. Skins are durable and easily treated, sheds are fragile and will crumble in your hands.
 

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