Also called taxidermy (from the Greek taxis: order, and derma: skin), it is the art of preparing the skins of vertebrates and creating the support required to given them shape. By extension, we refer to preservation for other groups of organisms (insects, crustaceans…).
Once the animal has been measured and skinned, the taxidermist tans the skin. They then place the skin on a model matching the animal’s volumes and desired posture. For smaller species, part of the skeleton may be preserved and the skin is then structured with an inner frame. To finish, glass eyes are attached and some areas retouched with paint.
This technique requires knowledge of the species’ anatomy and behaviour in order to “give life” to the animal in the most realistic manner possible.