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  • - Birds on sticks! - How do you keep them preserved?

  • - You need to make an incision and remove the whole internal body cavity,

  • which is all just one big enclosed unit.

  • It's got this great connective tissue.

  • It's like taking a sock off of your foot.

  • 'Cause you invert the whole skin up until the skull,

  • crack the skull in half,

  • remove the brain with a very sophisticated tool called a brain scoop,

  • revert the skin,

  • stuff it with cotton, put some wire in it,

  • stick the stick in it, and um, that's about it.

  • The ones dating before the 1960s were preserved with arsenic as well.

  • - 78. So we're good.

  • - You still might wanna wash your hands before you go to lunch.

  • You know what this is?

  • - That is a vertebrae...?

  • - Yes.

  • - Of a very large thing.

  • Is it a cetacean?

  • - Yeah! I don't know the exact one it's some kind of porpoise,

  • but it's the entire cervical vertebrae column

  • So it's like, this is, you know, - Oh, so it's all, yeah.

  • I showed you the human one, it was pretty... - Oh, so it's all, yeah.

  • But they're all compacted together, these are all different, separate bones.

  • They don't need to have a lot of mobility side to side of their head.

  • You can take a skin and you have it all the way until it's just attached by the nose

  • It's really weird to see this, like, weird skeletal thing

  • and I mean I'm just skinning a mink today, so maybe you can see that.

  • Like, why do mustelids and, uh, members of the skunk family get nematodes?

  • This is a sign of a nematode infection.

  • So a nematode is a parasite that comes in through the sinuses

  • and it makes these lesions on the brain.

  • And I imagine it does not feel very good.

  • - It's a really interesting smell coming out of this.

  • - It's not just the skunk smell, it's probably like preservation tissue

  • and the fact that you're in a museum with 21,000 dead things.

  • - It's a little musty.

  • - It's not a terrible smell.

  • - It's like your grandma's attic. - It's just really interesting.

  • - Yeah, it's like my grandma's attic times two.

  • - Is it about two grandma's attics in here?

- Birds on sticks! - How do you keep them preserved?

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B2 US skunk attic smell skin preserved skull

Outtakes from Hank Green's visit to the Museum

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    honda posted on 2015/09/13
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