Taxidermy evolved out of the tanning trade, whose practitioners preserved the skins of animals for use as clothing and blankets. In the early part of the 19th century, some of the first so-called trophy animals were crudely stuffed with scraps of fabric by upholsterers. Later in the Victorian Era, the art of taxidermy as we know it today evolved, pioneered by, among others, Carl Akeley, who worked at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Field Museum in Chicago, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Although Akeley was one of the leading innovators of taxidermy, excelling in the realistic mounting of mammals, later in his life he would reject the practice of bagging animals such as gorillas just so they could decorate a museum diorama, let alone a hunter's study. By the end of his life, Akeley had devoted himself to protecting these creatures—Africa's first national park was established in 1925 in no small part due his efforts.

Today, collectors of taxidermy have a range of animals and pieces to choose from. Gameheads are perhaps the most well known form of taxidermy. These include zebras, kudu, and other African animals whose heads are attached to pedestals that are designed to hang on a wall.

In the United States, the practice of mounting deer heads is very common, especially if it's a buck with a full rack of antlers. Complete animals known as full mounts tend to be of smaller species such as bobcats and fox, as well as skunks and raccoons.

Mounted fish is another popular taxidermy type. Birds from peacocks to pheasants to roosters mount well, too, as do quail and falcons.

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Recent News: Taxidermy

Source: Google News

Tiger's head and monkey skulls seized in 'illegal taxidermy' bust following ...
Evening Standard, May 23rd

Tiger's head and monkey skulls seized in 'illegal taxidermy' bust following Royal Mail tip-off. Big cat: Among the items seized were monkey bones and a tiger's head (Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA). Ramzy Alwakeel. Published: 24 May 2015. Updated: 08:01...Read more

Time Flies: Mamma Mia! Guess Which Actor Has a Creepy Taxidermy Collection?, May 22nd

Michelle SmithChocolate chip cookies, hamsters, Harry Potter, rock music. These are a few of my favorite things! FollowUnfollowUnfollow. 246Followers. Share on Facebook. Mamma Mia! Here I go again! Originally by Swedish band ABBA, we all can't help ...Read more

The right stuff at Gallery of Amazing Things, May 21st

The Oregon artist and taxidermist buys dead specimens — menageries of fish, reptiles, birds, beetles, butterflies and crawling insects — and preserves them in giant, geometric mosaics. For his "Sumptuosa Prism," butterflies and assorted bugs appear...Read more

Utahn with talent for taxidermy named 'Best in World' at international competition, May 20th

SALT LAKE CITY — From buffalo, to deer, to bears–if you can hunt it, Dave Ferguson of Ogden can mount it, and nobody is better. This month Ferguson won “Best in World” in two categories at the World Taxidermy Competition in Missouri. There were more ...Read more

Utah man takes home top taxidermy awards from competition
Washington Times, May 20th

The Standard-Examiner reports ( ) that Harrisville man David Ferguson brought home two “Best in World” titles from the World Taxidermy Competition, held in Missouri in early May. Ferguson says he began dreaming of becoming a ...Read more

Brewdog just crowdfunded £5 million and dropped taxidermy 'fat cats' from a ...
Business Insider, May 12th

To celebrate Brewdog hitting a fifth of its target in such a short space of time, the group, which possibly has the most outspoken company owners in the industry, dropped taxidermy "fat cats" over London to prove a point. “We're very pleased with the...Read more

Taxidermy elite compete for world title in Springfield
Springfield News-Leader, May 6th

That's the goal of about 1,000 taxidermists and fish carvers who are in Springfield this week for the World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships at the Springfield Expo Center downtown. They represent all 50 states and 25 countries, including a ...Read more

Iowa taxidermist charged with trafficking endangered rhino horns, May 5th

A northern Iowa taxidermist is expected to plead guilty next week to a charge of trafficking horns from a black rhinoceros, a critically endangered African species whose populations have been drastically thinned by illegal poaching. Federal prosecutors...Read more