Ethical Scavenger

WARNING - This blog is about bone cleaning and will include pictures of the entire process in its various stages.

This blog is meant to help educate and instruct those who wish to learn how to clean Ethically Scavenged bones.

I focus on honoring and appreciating nature and it's gifts - as well as respecting animal rights and helping to protect and preserve wildlife and habitat.

You may also find : interesting fossils, skeletal abnormalities, bone collecting through the ages, prehistoric bone tools and art plus information about the Skeletal systems of commonly found animals.

My apologies if the image above is rather graphic to you, but I think it shows just how versatile opossums are in what they will eat in order to survive. The opossum is an opportunistic feeder and will eat whatever is available in its environment at a given time and its diet will change with the seasons. When foraging at night the opossum keeps its nose to the ground, relying primarily on smell and touch. Vision does not appear to play a large role in locating food during their night prowling although they can see distant objects. The opossum is omnivorous, consuming both animal and plant material. They will eat just about anything and because of this are really great for the environment as a clean up crew. Its diet includes a variety of insects, earthworms, slugs, snails, crayfish, snakes and lizards, frogs, small rodents, small birds, eggs, grasses, vegetables, fruits, berries, grains, and human garbage. Many people enjoy having them around their home because they will get rid of cockroaches and rats, two pests that many people despise. The prehensile tail and opposable thumb on the hind feet help the opossum climb trees in search of bird eggs and young. They will also eat carrion, dead animal material. Although since so much carrion is roadkill, opossums are often killed by cars while looking for food on roadways. Opossums also eat snakes, many times poisonous snakes. Which brings me to my next subject.

Photo by (by Matt Ginzel)


I went on a day trip a while back walking through the woods on dirt trails near Marrero, LA.  As I was walking and trying to matrix myself around huge spider webs without damaging them, (there were tons!) I saw a pile of bones off to my left.  I walked up to investigate and saw what I posted above.  I spent some time taking pictures and looking around, getting a feeling for the area.  After I felt it was ok to take the bones, I put on my gloves and started filling my baggie.  I left a few behind for the animals in the forest, and I said a few words and left an offering. There was black hair everywhere, and I was unfamiliar with the skull shape, it was not one I’ve seen in person before.  I brought it home and put it in a bucket to degrease.  I found it in the ideal condition, all the flesh was gone already.  I took reference photos and then started looking through my reference books.  This is definitely a juvenile feral pig.  The area that I found it in is overrun with them, and sadly, people are encouraged to shoot them.  (please do not add your 2 cents about culling, I understand it’s benefits, it doesn’t mean I personally have to like it)  This little baby has a bullet hole in the skull, so I’m pretty sure I know how it died, I just hope it was quick.  :0(  The skull and bones are now in their final peroxide bath, so I’ll post pictures where you can see everything better soon.  

A note about being careful when finding and taking remains:  Always wear gloves!  I had gloves on when I took these bones, and I wasn’t sure what it was when I was collecting it.  Now I know it is a feral pig - they carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.  So now I’m super glad I was wearing gloves, just in case! 

So for those wondering where my bone jewelry comes from, this is how it happens.  And why I say my art is ethical, but why I don’t say it is cruelty free. I didn’t kill this little baby, and I have no idea who did.  So I don’t feel it is unethical for me to use the bones, they would be wasted and forgotten otherwise.  But it was not a cruelty free death, as the bullet hole indicates it was shot in the head.

As always, feel free to ask me questions, that’s how you learn and expand your worldview!  :0)

(via bluereverie)


drying lamb bones in the sun for a very important project. these are from two lambs that died of natural causes a few days after birth on a farm that I taxidermied 4years ago. #taxidermy #lamb #bones #vultureculture


Look what Wildlife Defence League is up to! They could use your help to make this happen!

"We’re very excited to announce that we have officially launched our Indie GoGo campaign to raise funds for our fall campaign, dubbed Operation Great Bear. Please share and help us STOP the trophy hunt!"

Check the indiegogo page here

(via taylorgburch)


Oil Slick.

This is the blackest algae I’ve ever seen growing on bones!


Asker Anonymous Asks:
hello small request, I tag chinchilla because I have 2 and I love looking at cute ones online! well I saw your post and I understand what you're doing and that you loved your chinchilla but please, please don't post things like that in a primary animal tag. it made me ill, and I cried a lot. please don't, for those of us who can't handle seeing things like that. thank you for reading this. have a good day! :)
bonecleaning bonecleaning Said:


im really very sorry that it upset you but it is something fundamental to me to not censor anatomy like it is is anyway horrible or disgusting. i truly believe this, its not something i take lightly. remember that your chinchilla consists of more then fur and whiskers. it is a creature with complex and beautiful physiology that is not an ugly or terrible thing,


Text: Finding roadkill that’s too big to fit in your car
Background: [LINK]


Text: Finding roadkill that’s too big to fit in your car

Background: [LINK]

(via heavy-metal-gypsy)


Bone tree. Photo by Dr Paul Koudounaris, author of The Empire of Death. Via The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice


holy wow

(via lifebender)




So I’m assuming he won.

Well, there’s nothing for him to have won. These bloodied antlers aren’t the result of a fight. See, deer lose their antlers and grow new ones every year. When they grow new antlers, the new antlers are covered in a fine, fuzzy skin called velvet. When the time comes for the antlers to stop growing and become hard and sharp, the velvet becomes very uncomfortable and the deer rub their antlers on rough surfaces like trees to scrape it off.

Because antler is bone, and because the velvet that helps them grow is very blood-rich, bucks who have recently shed their velvet look very gory! Not to worry though, this is all perfectly natural and soon the dead skin and blood will go away and leave behind a magnificent set of mature antlers, just in time for the autumn mating season.

deers metal as fuck

(via doomhag)

Asker barbiescum Asks:
hey (: I want to ask you sth... I have a rat's corpse (a gift from my cat) and I want to use the bones for jewerly. I want to know how to accelerate the decomposition of the body cuz I have it in a box for like more than a month now and it's still almost complete :/ thank you! (:
bonecleaning bonecleaning Said:

You have a few options. There is a step by step bone cleaning tutorial on the main page of this blog :

Maceration is probably gonna be your best bet unless you have access to Dermestid Beetles, burial takes a few months.