Preserving Bison
Skulls               Page 2
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It's best to treat skulls
when the temperature is
above 60 degrees. Colder
temps or low humidity
can cause a white finish
like that seen on the skull
to the left. If this happens
allow the skull to dry for a
day or two, then re-apply
a light coat of thin glue
solution to the outside,
visible areas. It will dry
clear. Any remaining
chalky spots can be
cleared up by moistening
lightly with your finger
tips and water.
A well preserved skull should look
as if nothing has been done to it. If
you like a higher gloss, seal the
specimen with well thinned shellac.
Many of our buffalo
skulls are thousands of
years old. Often they
are in very fragile
condition. If they come
apart while excavating
or transporting them,
don't despair. Save
ALL pieces, being
careful not to damage
the edges and sutures.
Dry and treat the
pieces separately,
before re-gluing the
skull together.
A few cracks are normal, and
nothing to worry about.
Large cracks from river
damage, poor preservation,
or too quick drying may
benefit from being filled with
straight white glue. Wipe off
any excess with a damp rag.
Left is the skull
that was laying
in sand after
being very
heavly treated in
white glue. It's
an old one, and
soaked up a lot
of solution in
spite of being
well mineralized.