Forget the lucky rabbit's foot, dead mice are the way to go.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I've mentioned before that we frequent a local restaurant that was sensitive to difficult child's sensory issues.

    Well, when easy child 1 was fixing up his camper, wee difficult child found a complete mouse skeleton in it. It looked like a tiny T-rex. He was amazed by it, and wanted to share it with his friend, the restaraunt owner.

    She, in turn, wanted to show it to another little boy that came into her restaurant, so she asked to borrow it and showed it to another little boy.

    Some time later, we stopped in and she had a gift from the other little boy. He had found a dehydrated salamander and given it to her to give to wee difficult child.

    After several months of this, we met, and the two boys are now friends. And low and behold, the other boy's aunt works for a Special Education advocacy group, and has been helping me get a plan of attack for the IEP meeting coming up!

    THEN...

    Our county case manager came the other night to go thru difficult child's plan for the year. difficult child was there playing with his cat. Reference was made to dead mice, and the case manager mentioned a friend who was a respiratory therapist, having a cat with a mouse addiction.

    Much later in the meeting, I was digging thru the file to get the current copy of wee difficult child's IEP and came across the notes from the allergist/immunologist who has run the tests that show that wee difficult child is desat-ing thru the night. I showed it to her and she asked to take it to her friend, the respiratory therapist with the cat with the dead mouse addiction...

    The county case manager called me back today with her friend's take on it, complete with a referal to a pediatric pulmonologist at the University that she made herself.

    Who knows. Nothing has come of the IEP meeting, or the dr appointment, but heck, its forward movement!

    So, I'm going to ditch all the lucky rabbits feet I have laying around (which amounts to none) and start packing around dead mice!

    (just kidding, I'm not...but they seem to be the common thread here....)
     
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm happy to say that I am glad this isn't my child.

    I'm not that squeamish - I wouldn't have minded the skelemousie - but the salamander? *SHUDDER*

    Yech.

    on the other hand, I'm allergic to rabbits' feet (well, the fur), so I guess it's an honest reaction.

    BUT... I'm also all for anything at all lucky for our difficult children!!!
     
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Um....yay?

    *full body shudder*
     
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I love the string of coincidences!
     
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think the mouse skeleton sounds really cool. How in the world did it stay intact?
     
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hmmmm... found another dead/hen-pecked mouse in the coop a few days ago. Wonder if there's any connection? :tongue:
     
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, so the tiny dead baby quail he found today wouldn't be right up there on your list of things to drag around, huh? lol

    He's a country boy. Gotta give him that.
     
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The mouse skeleton could have stayed together if the tendons etc dried instead of being eaten away.

    The really small creatures are very tedious to prepare as skeletons - if you want to make it a bit more permanent, he could carefully take it apart and glue it together more carefully. You could use PVA glue but if you look around there might be something a bit less water-soluble you could use. For the spine, thread the vertebrae onto a length of florist wire.

    An alternative I did years ago, was to do an alizarin preparation. You begin with the dead animal (fresh) and you do this with the small creatures (or the very young small creatures). The purpose of an alizarin preparation is to show the bones, but in situ, not having to be glued together or held on aboard. Small creatures and/or very young creatures often need the tissues to hold the bones in place, but this can get messy. Alizarin preparations have the flesh etc go clear and the bones are then stained with the alizarin dye, which turnes the bones a rust colour. The preparation is kept in a jar, in glycerin. To do this involves several weeks of daily changing of solutions (or sometimes every few days). It's not too tedious, it's more a case of a couple of minutes' check each day, that's all. And the end result is something a museum would be proud of having on display.

    Frankly, I think it's a lot easier than carefully taking a mouse skeleton apart then re-gluing it!

    A uni lecturer of mine used to do all the museum preparations for the department, she showed me a lot. I remember her showing me a fish skeleton she was preparing, all the bony plates of the fish skull were separating off and it looked like a very confusing 3-D jigsaw puzzle. The tiniest skeleton I saw her do was a planigale, a marsupial mouse that would fit inside a matchbox. She used carpet beetles to do that one. But taking it apart and gluing it - no thanks. Too challenging a job. The skull was the size of my little fingernail! Can you imagine how tiny a newborn planigale would be? Smaller than a grain of rice, for sure.

    The alizarin preparation is an easy option for any small animal he finds freshly dead. Until he makes up his mind/gets the ingredients, you can keep the body in the freezer. Doing the whole thing is a very useful lesson in anatomy and zoology.

    Marg
     
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I could send you all the perfectly-intact, dehydrated dead frogs we find all around here. My son finds at least one a week.

    It's neat how things worked out, though.
     
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Anytime you think he would be fascinated by other skeletons - let me know - I'll throw something on the burn pile for him and box it up.

    Our cat is just so proud of her kills......There still may be a mole skeleton out there?

    Shari -- there is a web site that specializes in replicas of animal skeletons and it's really affordable - but what is cool is that the pictures are available for the kids to check out. And who knows you could have the worlds next great palentologist or archeologist - very lucrative living.
     
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Oh, what is the wbsite! He'd love that.

    The replica of the T-rex skeleton "sue" is in St louis...I'm hoping to take him. I'd really like to take him to Chicago, which is, I think, the closest museum with several dinosaur skeletons.
     
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    http://www.boneroom.com/

    This is really cool - he will have to click on the links of which types of bones he's looking for. A lot of times we've used this to identify different types of skulls and skeletons we've found.

    Another neat thing that is out right now is WALKING DINOSAURS. It's a life-size show with 'real' walking dinosaurs set to a narrative story. I want to go see it here, but tickets in the nosebleed section are $40.00 and DF can't do the stairs. Handicapped area tickets start at $90- (nice) so it's a no go.

    Something else to check out with your local larger colleges is a real dig site. Here in South Carolina I tried to get Dude hooked up with a professor from USC that was offering a dig for teens a few years back. Had Dude been a straight A student with advanced classes in sciences etc....he could have gone to camp South of Charleston. There is a real-life dig unearthing a dinosaur there. Sadly the man did not want any "troubled" teens mucking up his dig. I hope he gets bit by a T-rex. :mad:

    Also - tell him to check out Dermestid beetles. They are in the Coleoptera family some people call them skin beetle, because well - they eat um...skin. A lot of these places use them to actually clean the flesh off of carcases (no joke) but to see them in action (if you get into that sort of thing) is remarkable. A lot of taxidermist and bone collectors buy them (you really can buy them on the internet) and that's what they are used for. :sick: or :Ddepending on your interest in bugs. Google them - even the Smithsonian has a room JUST for this purpose as do most museums.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermestidae VERY destructive and do NOT order them to see what they do - wickedly prolific and
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Cool, thanks guys!

    He loves this kind of stuff!
     
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    My old lecturer was using Dermestid beetles to clean up a platypus epiglottis... and I know she used Dermestids to do the planigale skeleton (that's the marsupial mouse skeleton that fit into a matchbox).

    Build him a garden shed if he gets this far.

    Seriously - a few of us at uni got our hands on a dead rabbit each (from another class, anatomy dissection) and we began the process of getting the skeleton from each one. We learned a lot in the process.

    Marg
     
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    THERE is the Walking with the Dinos - if you get a chance and can afford to go - maybe someone here can comment on it - I'm 40's and would have loved it....
     
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