Help - Preparation of horseshoe crab specimen

James Mahaffy mahaffy at
Tue Jan 24 09:55:51 EST 1995


: Hi.
: I need help to prepare horseshoe crab specimen.  My son had a horseshoe crab
: as a pet at home and it has been dead since last Monday.  He want to keep
: that in a bottle with alcohol.  But, I am not sure what percentage of alcohol
: should be used and what kind of alcohol (ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol etc.)
: Any help can be appreciated.

: 	Thank you.

: E-mail : AKIM at ARSERRC.GOV

The specimens actually dry down quite nicely.  But you then want to put
them in a box where they don't get bumped (the get brittle).  We have a
number preserved that way.  Alcohol would work and I think either one as
long as it is above 50%.  The jar has to be very tight or the alcohol
will evaporate and you will be left with a dried specimen anyway. Don't
take my knowledge of preservatives as an experpt, most of our specimens
are preserved with other fluids that you would not want to use. 

James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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