In ahead blog write-ups we explained our condition and inventory inspection of mammalian taxidermy. In completing that survey, we produced this working glossary of state to ensure that each conservator that participated in the survey shared a typical understanding that terminology because that taxidermy materials and techniques. We share the glossary below for rather who may need to define taxidermy in the paper definition of that is conservation.

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If you have actually experience working with taxidermy and also you usage terms differently or use different terms altogether, leaving them in a comment so we can include to our glossary!


Mount – the taxidermy animal; the kept skin the an pet that is secured/mounted end an internal type (manikin) and arranged in a life-like pose.


The skin is frequently secured via stitching, back nails and tacks have been used (and staples), or a combination of stitching and also nails.

Shoulder Mount – the head and neck that the animal, the body has actually been an installed at the shoulder of the animal (see picture of moose in ~ the end of the post).

Trophy Mount – a shoulder mount, commonly of a video game animal.

Full human body Mount – complete body that the animal is articulated in a life-like pose.


Manikin – the internal form of the animal that the preserved hide is enclosed to. Note the spelling: “manikin” or “mannikin” is used when referring to anatomically correct forms, choose research manikins supplied for CPR training. The “mannequin” spelling refers to fashion and also other non-anatomically correct forms.


" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1110" src="" alt="ca0f0b35706d3d7f13dffb2a20a25d7e" srcset=" 400w, 150w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 400px) 100vw, 400px" />“Manikin the Alaskan moose, prepared for skin, American Museum of natural History,” research study Library | Digital distinct Collections, accessed December 13, 2017,

Stuffed animal – specimen created using a technique common in the 19th century and earlier in i m sorry the preserved pet skin was sewn and also stuffed till full. This technique did not create realistic-looking specimens. Once better techniques were occurred (such as binding and the dermoplastic method), specimens to be no longer stuffed in this manner. Today, museum-quality taxidermy is referred to as mounted, not stuffed (see “mount” above).

Binding method – method in which timber wool or other loose materials space wrapped with string or subject to tie them in place and kind musculature roughly an internal armature/frame to create the manikin for the specimen.

Dermoplastic method – developed by German ornithologist and also taxidermist Phillip Leopold young name (1850-1885) in Stuttgart and adjusted by American taxidermist Carl Akeley, who started working in ~ the American Museum of Natural history in 1909. A technique developed for producing highly detailed, anatomically precise manikin. The German an approach is based upon a highly thorough sculpted type onto i m sorry the skin, (tanned tawed, or also raw) would certainly be placed. Akeley’s an approach is based on the ready of a mold, taken native the sculpted animal. The light-weight manikin is cast inside the mold using papiermâché or reinforced plaster (or a number of other materials). 

" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-1108" src="" alt="manikin" srcset=" 700w, 150w, 300w, 768w, 864w" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" />Manikin constructed using the dermoplastic technique. “Indian lion, complete manikin, 1930 ,” study Library | Digital special Collections, accessed December 13, 2017,

Polyurethane foam – material used to make modern mass-produced manikins in common use this particular day by commercial taxidermists. Polyurethane foam manikin are provided with varying levels of custom change to suit the details needs of a specific mount. Commercial taxidermists additionally use thick polyurethane for reproduction skulls/beaks.

Internal armature – sturdy wood, wire, and/or metal framework that offers internal structure support and also defines the position of the mount, particularly the limbs. The internal armature extends with hands and also feet to connect the specimen come the display base (see x-radiograph below).



Wood wool/Excelsior – slim slivers of hardwood (wood shavings) may be offered as stuffing or padding inside the animal, forming part of every one of the inner manikin

Straw – thick vegetal product may be supplied as stuffing or padding inside the animal, forming part of every one of the interior manikin

Cotton batting – cotton fibers may be offered as stuffing or padding inside the animal, forming part of every one of the inner manikin.

Papier-mâché – an approach using strips of file (and/or textile) collected in layers with adhesive to create a manikin

Plaster – gypsum or plaster of Paris might be supplied to kind part or all of the manikin/specimen.

Shellac – herbal resin that might be offered to seal papier-mâché or plaster manikins to carry out strength and also prevent water damage.

Wax/pigmented wax – transparent or pigmented wax may be offered to recreate areas of supple hairless skin on the nose, lips, and around the eyes. In these areas, the original skin dries out and also shrinks as soon as the pet is preserved, shedding its herbal appearance.

Paint – oil or acrylic (or other) paint may be applied to compensate for the lose of shade that occurs when the animal dies, specifically to hairless skin (ex, beaks/legs/feet/waddle of birds, encounters of primates, etc.).

Earliner – rigid product that is inserted between the class of skin in the ear of many animals for support. This particular day they are generally made out of plastic, back historically lead and also papiermâché were additionally used.

Jawset – recreation the top and bottom of jaw, including teeth and tongue. Jaw sets manufactured today are typically made the end of plastic.

Mouthcup/mouthpiece – recreation of the mouth, including surrounding flesh (cheeks and lips). Mouthcups made today are frequently made the end of plastic.

Eyes – eye were traditionally made out of glass, however many of those manufactured today they are made of plastic.

Teeth – often the initial skull and also teeth were cleaned and also used in historical taxidermy mounts; however, due to the fact that teeth are prone to cracking and also breaking, many contemporary mounts use plastic jawsets.

Antlers and also horns – typically the originals from the pet are supplied in taxidermy mounts, return there may be fills, paints, or varnish added by the taxidermist.

Display Base

Base – an external supportive structure that a specimen is enclosed to do it secure for display. The base can be a flat piece the wood, a branch, fake rock, etc.


The base is likewise sometimes dubbed the mount, but due to the fact that taxidermy specimens themselves space often referred to as mounts, we favor to use the alternate term “base”. 

Habitat base – a basic with additional components resembling the habitat the the living animal, for example, grass, moss, snow, fern, etc.

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Panel – a wood backing board the attaches the animal to a wall surface for display, particularly for trophy/shoulder mounts.