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Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet
Logotyp för Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Taxidermist workshop

The taxidermist workshop is where birds and mammals undergo examination for environmental monitoring purposes, as well as where animals are prepared and curated before being integrated into the museum's scientific collections.

About the Taxidermist Workshop

The taxidermist workshop is the museum’s facility for receiving, examining, and preparing deceased birds and mammals. It is equipped to handle various tasks, including animal dissection, sampling, cleaning skeletons, skin preparation, as well as the care and repair of zoological specimens.

While the majority of items prepared in the taxidermist workshop are incorporated into the museum's collections, some are also utilized in public activities.

Två personer iklädda gröna skyddskläder och vita handskarfrån museets personal står och disikerar småfågel i konservatorverkstan

Personnel in the taxidermist workshop dissecting a small bird.


Heating vessel

Larger skeletons are prepared and cleaned through a heating process, where enzymes are used to dissolve muscles and other tissues. For this, we use a 900-liter stainless steel vessel with adjustable time and temperature.

Konservatorpersonal står vid en stor låda i borstat stål. Den ena personen, iklädd vit rock, räcker ut armen och trycker på en knapp som hänger ned från taket.

Image taken during the cleaning of a killer whale skull that arrived at the museum in 2023. Photographer: NRM


The Dermestarium is where the museum’s taxidermists prepare smaller skeletons. Here, carcasses are cleansed using live insects known as dermestid beetles (Dermestes haemorrhoidalis), which consume flesh and other soft tissues. This process occurs in a separate building to prevent the beetles from entering the museum's collections and causing damage.

Dissection room

The taxidermist workshop is equipped with a fully functional dissection room, used, among other things, to dissect seals and otters to investigate environmental pollutants.

Personal från Naturhistoriska riksmuseet står vid ett bord iklädd skyddskläder och handskar. Personen disikerar en säl i konservatorverkstan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to birds and mammals sent to the Swedish Museum of Natural History?

  1. Initially, an assessment is made regarding which parts of the animal are relevant for the museum to preserve for educational or research purposes. Commonly preserved items include muscle samples, organs, skins, or skeletons. Sometimes, we preserve the entire animal in alcohol.
  2. The animal is then sampled, and the selected parts are taken care of and prepared. During the preservation of the chosen parts, the animal is weighed, measured, sexed, and aged. Seals undergo a more comprehensive autopsy performed by pathologists and veterinarians, in order to monitor the health of the seal populations.
  3. Information about the animal and related findings is stored in databases, while the physical material is incorporated into the museum's zoological collections and/or the environmental sample bank. Once the material has found its way to the collection, it is available for researchers worldwide.

Contact information

Peter Nilsson | Förste assistent

Anna Lotsander | Förste assistent
Koordinator för statens vilt

Linnea Cervin | Förste assistent

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