Category Archives: taxidermy

Teratoma

I’ve been making Teratoma Tumors  for about 5 or so years.  They are a something that I find both fascinating and horrifying.  Browsing Teratoma images online is not something I recommend or like to do.  It is confronting to see so many babies with Teratoma’s.

Teratoma’s often sell to young women who have had one found on there ovary, a very common place for a teratoma.

From Wikipaedia “Teratomas belong to a class of tumors known as nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (N.S.G.C.T.). All tumors of this class are the result of abnormal development of pluripotent cells: germ cells and embryonal cells.”

You can read a little more about the link between the teratoma and the parasitic twin below.

From Wikipaedia

Fetus in fetu and fetiform teratoma

Fetus in fetu and fetiform teratoma are rare forms of mature teratoma that include one or more components resembling a malformed fetus. Both forms may contain or appear to contain complete organ systems, even major body parts such as torso or limbs. Fetus in fetu differs from fetiform teratoma in having an apparent spine and bilateral symmetry.[12]

Most authorities agree that fetiform teratomas are highly developed mature teratomas; the natural history of fetus in fetu is controversial.[12] There also may be a cultural difference, with fetiform teratoma being reported more often in ovarian teratomas (by gynecologists) and fetus in fetu being reported more often in retroperitoneal teratomas (by general surgeons). Fetus in fetu has often been interpreted as a fetus growing within its twin. As such, this interpretation assumes a special complication of twinning, one of several grouped under the term parasitic twin. In this regard, it is noteworthy that in many cases the fetus in fetu is reported to occupy a fluid-filled cyst within a mature teratoma.[13][14][15][16] Cysts within mature teratoma may have partially developed organ systems; reports include cases of partial cranial bones, long bones and a rudimentary beating heart.[17][18]

Regardless of whether fetus in fetu and fetiform teratoma are one entity or two, they are distinct from and not to be confused with ectopic pregnancy.

Murder Tree

There is a tree in our front yard that is a home to crows, the crows fly in and out of the tree all day.  During the school term the crows steal food from the grounds, they steal yogurt containers, muesli bars, and tuck shop paper bags.  All of the rubbish from the food ends up under the tree.  But then something started to happen, there were dead animals under the tree every day for 5 days.  A rat, another rat, a top knot pigeon, a lorikeet, another rat.  I started to expect a corpse under the tree after a few days.

I buried all of the animals under the tree in among all of the litter under the tree.  It’s a huge pine so there are heaps of needles and dirt underneath to bury the animals.

After that first 5 days we’ve only seen a few more dead animals under the tree.  Mostly old ones, like half mummified rats and bird parts. Today I was reminded of all of the animals the showed up under the tree over that week after my partner mowed under the tree uncovering the poorly buried bodies (it’s super dry under the tree and hard to dig up).

As I have a bit of a collections of bones and body bits the corpses under the tree don’t bother me and  I can easily bury them when they do show up.  We don’t think the crows were actually killing the the animals but that the rats were poisoned (there were heaps of dead rats in the area at the time) and that a cat originally killed the birds and the crows stole the bodies.

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Bird wing from the top knot dove

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Rat skull

Taxidermy

I’ve wanted to learn taxidermy since I was small, late primary school age, probably about 10.  When I was in year 8 (the first year of high school in Australia) I said that I wanted to be a taxidermist (when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”) Wanting to be a taxidermist (and actually saying that) are probably not the best moves for someone just starting high school, but whatever.

I finally got a chance to try it out in one of Mickey Alice Kwapsis’ workshops when she came to Brisbane.

Very excited to try more taxidermy.  In fact I have to order some scalpels this evening.

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When the rabbit was first done I had to pose it
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It has dried out really well but is a bit top heavy.