Buffalo Skull

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Ice Tracker's picture
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Joined: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 8:23pm
Buffalo Skull

Found a buffalo skull over the weekend now wondering what to use to preserve it. Anybody ever preserved a buffalo skull?

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Joined: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 12:00am

 I'd call the guy who mounted the deer in your avatar and see what he uses to preserve european mounts.

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Ice tracker- you can buy a kit for whitening form Cabelas or van dykes- pretty easy to do if its already clean. We usually pull off the horns and paint with flat black too. Good luck!

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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

Was it on the ground surface? (died recently?)

If it was found in a creek or river bottom and is brown/black or has the "patina" then don't whiten it. Usually drying it out is all you need to do since it's half-way petrified already. Is it really crazy wide big steer looking thing (extinct species) or the modern buffalo? Like this?

I found a nice one in the old creek that runs just east side of Bismarck (past game and fish) when I was a kid. Still have it sitting next to me in my office. Wasn't the ice-age big wide one though, just a standard modern day critter. :(

Like this (not mine):



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Joined: Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 1:37pm

you might not want to whiten or preserve it.  with all the major flooding and erosion in the last couple years many once burried and forgotton things have been exposed. 

Over 10,000 years ago there were many more species of large mammals here in N america and there were also many more species of bison.  My guess is you chances of finding an extinct specie of bison now is greater than finding the common Bison bison of today.  I'd guess you probably found a Bison antiqqus or Bison occidentalis skull.

can you post a pic?  what does it measure from horn tip to horn tip?  if you lay a straight edge accross the skull resting on the horn tips does it touch the skull or is it 1.5 to 2 inches above it.  these details can tell me what specie you have found.

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Joined: Sunday, April 26, 2009 - 1:37pm

if it looks like the ones in the above pics, just rinse the dirt gravel & mud out of them and let it dry.  it's probably half mineralized anyway, on its way to fossilization.

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Ice Tracker Said:
Found a buffalo skull over the weekend now wondering what to use to preserve it. Anybody ever preserved a buffalo skull?

Thats a sweet find.  i would love to have a buffalo skull an hang it on the wall.

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Joined: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 10:45am

I have been told that if you find something (fossil, arrowhead, etc) that has been moved from its original resting place you can legally take it.(assuming you are not on private land).   BUT if you dig something up you have to notify the state and it is illegal to take it.

I know a guy who walks creeks in the badlands looking for buff skulls exposed from recent rains and is quite successful.

If a skull is "half mineralized or fossilized" does it continue the process in your basement?

                                                                                                                         

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Joined: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 8:23pm

The skull looks like the bottom picture.... People have told me they have dug them out of the river banks and in a couple years they pretty much disintegrate

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Ice Tracker Said:
The skull looks like the bottom picture.... People have told me they have dug them out of the river banks and in a couple years they pretty much disintegrate

I suppose it depends on the oxygen exposure during submersion (no oxygen is best of course), how long it was exposed to freeze/thaw, etc.

Mine is "perfect" in that it's still solid as original bone but brown/tan from mineralization and/or humic/fulvic exposure.

The only thing I can think of if it seems crumbly/crappy now would be to dry it out then slather/coat/soak it in some sort of clear casting resin/epoxy. If it's not crumbling now I think you're good to juct let it dry. It shouldn't "rot more" without additional sun, moisture, or freeze/thaw.



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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

Mine... I was hoping to find an embedded arrowhead. Wouldn't that be awesome?



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