An extremely dead, mummified rat

December 21st, 2008

I was cleaning out my old garage, which was in a total mess after having a new roof put on it, and among all the sawdust and off cuts and dead leaves and so on I found an extremely dead, totally mummified rat!

rat1 rat2

The skin is completely dried and is very tough and all it’s internals seem to have dried to nothing. I want to somehow remove all the flesh and just leave the bones (don’t ask why, it’s just one of those things you have to do).

What though is the best way to remove all the old tissue? Since my poor pet newts died I have nothing to feed the white worms they lived off to. I was wondering if I put the worms in a container, soaked the rat in water then put it in with the worms would they do the work of eating away all the dead flesh?

I know there are special beetles used for just such a purpose but goodness knows if they are available in NZ at all. Either that or some sort of chemical treatment?

Posted in Uncategorized | | Top Of Page

4 Responses to “An extremely dead, mummified rat”

  1. Matt Says:

    Dude, that rat is totally sick. Bloody Hell!

  2. michelle Says:

    Awww, cute. He’s all curled up.

    Actually you should boil him up, and then reassemble the bones and make a moving skeleton model (like they have in med schools)

    That would be cool.

  3. Rob L Says:

    Greetings from Oregon, USA. I’ve been enjoying your web site for a long time.

    I occasionally watch a TV show called “Dirty Jobs”, which is about, well, dirty jobs. On one episode they talked about a company that prepares skeletons for museums and such. As I recall, they used a three-step process: a soak in a barrel filled with water, then flesh-eating beetles in a terrarium, then hydrogen peroxide. (I’m not sure about the order of the first two steps.) The soak in the barrel was horribly disgusting. I’m not traditionally a fan of insects, but even so I found the flesh-eating beetles fascinating rather than disgusting. The hydrogen peroxide bleached the bones beautifully.

    Personally I would think that if you removed most of the skin and desiccated flesh, and then put the remains in a cage to keep out larger scavengers, and then put the cage in a damp sheltered spot outdoors, that the local insects would do the job without requiring that you learn about the customs intricacies of importing live insects.

    I would think that these steps would leave you with a pile of disconnected bones. It might be tricky to figure out which bone connects to which. (I know, I know, “the hip bone connects to the leg bone…”) But then again you don’t seem to worry much about how to finish a project when you’re starting, you just seem to manage in the end, so have at it!

    Best regards,
    – Rob

  4. michelle Says:

    Why I do believe that is a rattus rattus, commonly known as a ship rat, often found in ceilings.