• Conservation of a Leatherback Turtle Skeleton and use of solvent gels to reduce fat staining from bone
    Murgatroyd, R.

    Skeletons prepared for natural science collections can retain lipids within the porous structure of trabecular bone. Over time these oils can wick out and cause staining and stickiness as they oxidise and crosslink at the bone surface. The low pH of degraded fatty acids can cause demineralization of bone and corrosion of articulation wire. The re-treatment of skeletal material to remove lipids traditionally involves submersion in solvents, chemicals or enzymes or the use of abrasion with the same treatments applied locally with swabs or brushes. This poster will outline the results of the use of solvent gels as an alternative method of application. Specimens from Cambridge Zoology Museum’s collection, conserved for redisplay during the redevelopment project will be used as case studies.

    Keywords: conservation, lipid removal, solvent gel, skeleton preparation, fat staining, bone