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.


deer hoof and bones.

the ‘pointy’ toe bone is sometimes called the ‘coffin bone’.


I set out some feet and toes for reference for my illustrations today and I thought a little guessing game might be fun!

A few are pretty obscure but can anyone guess what they are all from? I’ll give you until tomorrow night (9/17) and if anyone does get them all right (or whoever comes the closest) then I’ll send you FIVE random little bags of natural curiosities from the grab bags in my shop!

If you aren’t in the US I’ll still send you five bags but they’ll be fossil or mineral specimens and won’t contain any modern animal parts.

Just reblog this post with your guesses!

Good luck!

squirrel, mole, mantis, coyote, deer, raccoon, cat - haha… uhmm…so many toes!

(via shadyufo)


So I’m taking a piss in the woods when I suddenly realize: “I smell dead things”. So after I finish my business, I call Cabal over to confirm. His early informal training as a cadaver dog pays off, and he quickly locates a wool blanket half-buried in the leaf litter. 

"Pick it up!" I tell him. It’s the command I usually give him when I want him to pick up a branch and carry it back to camp for firewood. But he adapts, knowing what I want from him, and takes the edge of the wool blanket in his teeth, ever-so-delicately, and pulls it out into the open. 

I carefully unfold the cloth, unsure of what I will find. Somewhere, in the back of my head, I’ve always suspected that I might stumble upon a human body in the woods one day. But today, my birthday, was not that day. 

Instead, my pup and I had uncovered the remains of a dog - a decapitated dog, who was killed, beheaded, wrapped in a blanket, and dumped in a ditch beside a rock quarry littered with beer cans and bullet casings. 

My brain jumped to the worst possible conclusion: Someone had killed this animal for fun and left it to rot in the forest. But it could just as easily have been a beloved pet whose owner didn’t know where else to dispose of it. Or, alternatively, a stray hit by a car (though none of the bones I saw were broken), given a shoddy burial by some stranger.

Why the head was missing, though, I do not quite know. That is an odd detail indeed. In any event, that detail does not add up. It’s a question whose answer I’ll likely never know, and for some reason, I think that that’s okay. 

These photos are beautiful! aw, now i totally have doggy fever. When i get more land, i cannot wait to have a dog to adventure with.

I cannot count the number of times i’ve been in the woods, smelled that distinct odor of death and thought : “is this the time its a  human body?”

which isgenerally followed by “i can still keep a little piece before i call the authorities right? if its all just bones, i can keep a toe or something. I’d want someone to  keep a toe if they found me…”

i’ve also found quite a few domestic dogs buried/discarded in strange places. humans will never cease to confuse me.

(via lifebender)


Warning: This post contains graphic discussions of animal cruelty.

This past weekend I vended at the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire in Kings Valley, OR. It’s one of the most established faires in the Portland area, having been started in 1995, and after I missed last year I was eager to make it back this year. The faire is currently held in a big grass field south of Dallas, OR; the field had been mowed so the grass could be sold as hay, and so all that was left was a bit of dry stubble in the dust. This made it easier for people to walk around–and it also made for excellent vole-watching. The entire field, in fact, is pockmarked by the burrows of voles (probably creeping voles, Microtus oregoni), and we spent the weekend watching on particularly bold little critter popping out of her burrow and wandering the field around our booth and others. She even burrowed around underneath our air mattress at night, as evidences by the trails in the grass and dust underneath–a very determined little vole indeed! (I took the opportunity to subject my partner to several truly terrible vole puns throughout the weekend. Vole-tron. Vole-demort.)

Shrewsbury is quite family-friendly, and there were plenty of kids running around throughout the weekend. Several of the surrounding booths had children who would pass by our booth with some frequency. At one point late in the day on Saturday, one boy near my booth happened to mention to me “I’m going to squash a vole”. I stopped, not sure if I’d heard correctly. “What did you say?” I asked. “I’m going to squash a vole,” he repeated. He couldn’t have been more than about eleven or so, and he pointed at the burrow near the front of our booth where we’d been watching our vole neighbor all day.

I gave him a stern look and said “Don’t you dare. There’s no reason to kill an animal just because it’s there, and this is from someone who’s selling art made from animal hides.” The boy looked chastised and retreated back over to his own booth. I retreated as well; it was a reminder that people, children included, too often see the killing of another life as something to be taken lightly.

Read the rest here.


Aug 13th, 2012: Skulls & Bones, by Ms. Graveyard Dirt

Curled crowns of chanterelles drew us to #01’s death site, and as we followed randomly scattered patches deeper into the hedge we found that the lost - a rabbit with vampire-like incisors, and a weasel with a paper-delicate skull - were waiting to be found.

See also: A Morning’s Work, Basket of Chanterelles, Christmas-Coloured Entheogens, Corvid Feathers, Deer Remains, Lost, Then Found and Skulls & Bones

DISCLAIMER: If you decide to reblog any of my roadkill pictures please keep all of the relevant information (i.e., name, title and Flickr link) with the image. (Why?)

I'm hoping you can help. I found this online (i(.)imgur(.)com/Vit8xTy(.)gif) and have been trying to figure out what kind of skull it is. I figured out it's from a stop-motion alice in wonderland film by Jan Švankmajer, but that is where I hit a wall. I've figured out lots of things it isn't, but no luck figuring out what it is (if it's real). Closest I found googling was ring-tailed lemur, but that wasn't right. Any suggestions?
bonecleaning bonecleaning Said:


unfortunately i cannot get that image to load, i’ve seen the film (though its been a few years now) and only skull i can remember being used was a deer skull - i think there may also be fish bones and rabbit parts used as well

Asker peachypan Asks:
i found a skull fragment in my garden, do you think you could help me? The face is totally intact but the cranium is totally gone. It looks like some sort of small dog or young raccoon.
bonecleaning bonecleaning Said:

do you have photos you could post?



Do birds fly to the moon? that’s what they thought - WTF fun facts

This is my favourite bird story, next to the Barnacle Goose one and Sparrowhawk one




My dog skull arrived and I’m in love with it I can see it being one of my favourites. It’s huge can’t believe someone listed it as a fox skull and I was super lucky to manage to get this baby for under £10! What do you think prettydeadstuff? :)

Oooh! That is a gorgeous skull. Absolutely gorgeous. Great grab! And wow, yeah that’s a nice size! Okay, here are my thoughts -

Not a Rottweiler or a bully breed like I was expecting. This dog was large GSD-Labrador type size, though knowing the exact breed will always be difficult because the vast majority of defining characteristics for each breed are not down to bone structure, plus there is such a variety within individual dogs themselves!

Here are some photos with rough measurements for comparison:

Large GSD male, 25cm/13cm


Small GSD: 20cm/11cm (note that GSDs can also have much gentler sloped foreheads than these two)


Labrador type: 22.5cm/13cm


I also measured a Siberian Husky skull at 23cm/14cm, but the muzzle is too thick. Your dog would have been about the same size though!

Wow you’re so knowledgeable on your dogs! Thanks so much for the info I love finding out more about my skulls :)


Went back to where I found the skull and found more bones scattered around the area. I’m guessing they belong to the same cat. Cleaning them up a bit, since they are clean but a bit muddy.

(via bonemagick)