Taxidermy involves the removal of the natural skin from animals in order
to place it over an artificial form. That creates a life-like representation
for permanent display. The word is Greek, derived from: taxis (movement) and
Some taxidermists work in private practice, doing custom reproductions
for clients. They're also hired by museums and educational institutions to
mount permanent displays (sometimes known as dioramas) and movable (traveling)
A fully trained taxidermist is a multi-skilled craftsperson knowledgeable
in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, molding and casting. Equally important
are artistic skills -- many jobs require sculpting, painting and drawing abilities.
Vigorous conservation efforts to preserve wildlife have placed special
limitations on the transportation and handling of various species. Maryland-based
taxidermist Stephanie Lee is state and federally licensed to receive migratory
birds, including raptors and other protected species, to be mounted for nature
centers and schools.