Taxidermic magnificence

Although the vast majority of my work involves looking at bones, I’m actually quite partial to a good piece of taxidermy. And this is nothing like a good piece, it’s actually magnificent. I’ve genuinely never seen anything quite like it and it is both beautiful and superbly executed. Two huge animals, rendered as if shooting through the water, held high off the ground (and with no massive support structures, there must be a wonderfully concealed steel support running through that branch) in a pose that’s both dramatic and realistic. This is just great, and the fact that you an walk all the way around i only makes it better.

The Carnegie had some truly superb taxidermy on show, and like this piece, not just in the sense of technical accomplishment, but the layouts and dioramas. One other memorable effort was of two adjoining displays of mountain sheep and goats. Mounted outside and between the two was a cougar, climbing around the rocks as if moving from one diorama to the next, and helping break down the barriers by being outside the glass and on the same side as the visitors – clever, inventive, worked. Brilliant.

11 Responses to “Taxidermic magnificence”


  1. 1 Tim Donovan 16/12/2011 at 12:42 pm

    Looks fantastic. How big are they?

  2. 3 Robert A. Sloan 16/12/2011 at 2:11 pm

    Wow! Thank you for the photo and the story! I have got to go to the Carnegie someday. This is so cool. I loved the taxidermy sections in the Field Museum too. It would also help me a lot if I could sketch some of the mounts – I’d probably fill a dozen pages just with these reptiles from different angles. The cougar too, since I love big cats.

  3. 4 erieartmuseumgiftshop 16/12/2011 at 9:56 pm

    I have GOT to get back to the Carrnegie!

  4. 5 Paul W. 17/12/2011 at 1:58 am

    What species of croc is that? It’s hard to to tell from that pick.

  5. 6 Zhen 17/12/2011 at 2:33 am

    I’m pretty sure those are Alligators and not Crocodiles.

  6. 7 Mark Robinson 17/12/2011 at 3:42 am

    The higher animal is, given its size, almost certainly an American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. The lower one’s dentition looks more like that of a crocodile altho’ the snout does seem to be fairly blunt.

    • 10 Zhen 19/12/2011 at 2:39 am

      What the heck? The top one really fooled me. I could have sworn that broad snout was that of a Gator. I thought I knew Nile Crocs well enough, but I guess not.


  1. 1 Charge! « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 18/12/2011 at 8:45 am
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