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Alastair Mackie's Alternative Taxidermy Art


Photo: Tessa Angus

What do you do if you've got your hands on thousands of mouse skulls (rescued from owl excrements vomit, no less)? Well, taxidermy artist Alastair Mackie has got the elegant solution. Izzy Elstob of Don't Panic writes:

Downstairs again, Mackie uses the repetition of form to create the series Untitled (Sphere). These are four perfect spheres within thick-set display bell jars, apparently floating upon their plinths. I forgot to mention that these perfect spheres are meticulously composed of mouse skulls. I forgot to mention that these mouse skulls are meticulously extracted from owl shit. What you have is a skeletal ball of precise dimensions, the layers of the ball packed with equidistantly placed skulls of increasing or diminishing size dependent on whether the convex is moving towards or away from the poles.

Link - via Archie McPhee's Endless Geyser of Awesome


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I was a volunteer feeder at a nature center and owls don't poop mouse and rat skulls. As everyone up above me has stated they barf up a pellet which looks like a cat hairball. They can be 2-5 inches long and contain skulls and bones and hair. Owls eyelids are also transparent. That allows them to look at things all the time even when they blink. Their eyes look opaque when they blink but they can see you very well. Great Horned owls will also snap their bills very loudly when they are agitated. Very cool birds, IMO.
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Owls regurgitate pellets containing the bones and fur of their prey; the pellets are far less repulsive to sift through than would "owl shit", as the writer erroneously claims.
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