Simon Moore | Products | Fluid-preserved argonaut |
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About Simon Moore

Conservator of all natural sciences specimens

Further Info

Specialised in
Natural History specimen conservation - taxidermy, specimens preserved in fluids, entomology repair, herbarium specimen damage.

Fluid-preserved argonaut

A juvenile ‘paper shell’ argonaut specimen, fixed in 10% formalin and then transferred to 80% industrially-denature alcohol.  At some time, the pH of the former fluid had dropped to a rather actively-acidic level, removing what little calcium salts there were from the shell and turning it into a highly fragmentary membrane!  The remaining shell membrane was assembled and gradually replaced onto the body, adhering it with 4% solution of pyroxylin dissolved in a highly-volatile (and flammable) mix of di-ethyl ether and absolute ethanol.  This involved using the ether solvent alone to act as a ‘solvent bridge’, enabling the adhesive to ‘stick’ slightly to the animal tissue before it was gelled in 80% ID alcohol.

One of the more challenging projects I have been engaged upon.