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*****PLEASE READ! You may have noticed the blurry thumbnail –– because of complaints lodged by PETA or PETA-like individuals, Etsy has determined it politic to require that wet specimens be marked "mature" and their thumbnails obscured. Please understand that this does not in any way imply that there is actually something "mature" or restricted about wet specimens. All items presented for sale in my shop are 100% legal to sell and own, are nontoxic to possess or handle (though please do not eat them), and no animals were removed from the wild (or from life) for this purpose. For more information please see my About or Policies pages.*****

I really LOVE opossums, but I really hate thumbs. For some reason, thumbs are just really creepy, especially when on a severed hand and in a jar. This is a paw from an opossum (the oft-celebrated sole American marsupial) but you'd never guess it –– it looks like it came off a monkey or very small Neanderthal. A hand, perhaps, that once held the hand of someone it loved...or squeezed the throat of an enemy.

Fixed in formalin and now held in alcohol. I have both front and rear paws, the only difference being that the thumb on the front paws have a claw, and the rears do not. If you prefer one over the other, just include a note with your purchase –– otherwise, I'll just send you the best paw I have.

Frequently asked questions about BlackBearBathSalts

Jars 16oz or smaller will ship with alcohol within the US unless otherwise noted (if the jar does not provide an adequate seal –– for instance if it is corked –– it will ship without liquid). Anything larger than 16oz will not ship with alcohol.

However, if you are purchasing more than one item, the jars will be drained of liquid prior to shipping. It would exceed permissible postal limits on liquid, and greatly amplifies the risk of damage in transit. Combined shipping prices will reflect this. I will send instructions for refilling the jar.

No liquid can be shipped internationally.

If you would like to save on shipping, I am happy to send any item without solution.
All you need to refill the jar is common 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, available at any pharmacy for about $2 a bottle. All of my specimens have already been preserved in formalin (liquid formaldehyde), preventing decay — so all they need is a sterile liquid environment to stay preserved indefinitely, which alcohol best provides.

For delicate specimens (like early fetuses), you may want to use 50% alcohol. In truth, any dilution from 50-70% will work perfectly well; do not, however, exceed this level, as high concentrations of alcohol can constrict tissue and cause shriveling.
There's almost zero chance that their condition will be affected in shipping. Their tissue has been entirely fixed in formalin, meaning that decay has been prevented. They will arrived sealed and wrapped in wadding soaked in alcohol –– it can last in this way for up to a year before it begins to dry out (as preservation has already been completed, all that's necessary is an alcohol-based holding solution to keep it sterile and hydrated. If left out of solution, it will only dry out, not decay). The only danger is if it is exposed to prolonged extreme heat or cold, which is unlikely during transit.
My animals come from pet breeder, zoo, or farm deaths; stillborns; things the stray cats I take care of kill; roadkill or hiking finds; scraps from taxidermists, butchers, and tanneries; antique scientific collections; etc. If anything met its end by any other than natural means, it was likely via euthanasia, predation, or automobiles, or in rare cases, as a nuisance animal. Nothing is removed from the wild –– or, simply, removed from life –– on my behalf.

I am a registered taxidermist in my state, and everything that appears here is legally collected and legal to sell and own. However, you may want to familiarize yourself with your local wildlife regulations. This excellent site has an breakdown by state: http://bit.ly/2s5K70x
You do not need to refresh the solution –– the preservation is completed and the alcohol acts as a sterile, hydrating holding solution to keep the specimen from drying out or attracting mold. You can leave it in the same alcohol it came in for well beyond our lifetimes. 

However, alcohol, over time, does discolor –– the rate at which it does so will depend on things like exposure to light, temperature of the room, oils in the specimen's fur, etc. This doesn't affect preservation, but it does affect the aesthetics. Some people like the antique yellow look of older alcohol, and some people like it to be crystal clear all the time –– really, the choice of whether or not to swap out the liquid is all yours.
All our specimens are preserved according to the best practice guidelines for scientific and museum preservation set forth by the US Department of the Interior. After cleaning and positioning, specimens are fixed in fresh, never re-used formalin (liquid formaldehyde) at a very high ratio of tissue to fixative for two to six weeks in climate-controlled tanks, then acclimated to alcohol over a forty-eight hour period.

If properly cared for (and care is quite easy), your specimens will last for many hundreds of years. I guarantee all specimens I preserve myself, but cannot guarantee the lifespan of those preserved by others (i.e. vintage specimens; these will be noted as such).
Of course! If you would like to save on shipping, I am happy to send any item without solution (they will hold up perfectly fine) or even without the jar. Usually this can save a few bucks. Just message me beforehand and let me know.

Combined shipping prices are automatically calculated at checkout. If you are placing a large order and would like an exact shipping quote before purchase, please message me and I can accommodate.

Combined shipping cannot be automatically done for international orders because of the quirks of the US postal system. Please message me for more information if you have questions about combining multiple international items.

Humanlike Opossum Hand in Jar - Preserved Wet Specimen Taxidermy



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