This cow eyeball was given to us by a friend who collects curiosities like us!
Cow eyeballs are commonly used for dissection in science classes because of their similarity to human eyes, though they are quite bigger.
Preserved cow eyeball wet specimen
Size: 2 1/4″ wide x 1 1/2″ tall; jar 2 3/4″ tall
From: Given as a gift
Price: Unknown, but you can find them online for just a few dollars
This was the first human bone in our collection. One day in Obscura we saw a jar of human rib bones for relatively cheap. They told us that they get their human bones from cadavers that are no longer of use to medical schools.
There are laws that one must follow if you would like to have human pieces in your collection. The main rule is that the item cannot be immediately viable. For example, you cannot buy a heart from a recently deceased person that could still be used for a heart transplant to save someone else’s life. However, once the item does not hold any potential value to a living person, it is acceptable to buy and sell human remains.
An old rib from a medical school cadaver
Size: 4 1/2″ long x 3/4″ wide
A jackalope is a well-known taxidermy gaff (a fake specimen). One is made by attaching any kind of antlers to a regular taxidermied rabbit. They are usually displayed as a head mount on a wall, but sometimes you can find a full-bodied one.
This is one of only a couple of gaffs that we’re interested in procuring. We like real animals better, but as this one is so infamous we would like to add one to our collection.
M gave me this 3D printed skull with the glass dome to protect it. It’s so intricate and beautiful, and definitely one of the more artistic items we have in our collection.
The skull and dome are from one of our favorites, Evolution.
3D Printed Skull
A plastic, ornate model skull in a glass dome with a wooden base.
Size: skull 3″ long x 2 1/2″ wide x 2 3/4″ tall, dome 5 1/2″ wide x 6″ tall
From: Joshua Harker- Etsy
Price: skull $50-$100, dome $20-50
Bloodletting was the most common medical practice for centuries. It involved cutting the skin to let blood flow from the body, and it was used for a wide variety of ailments, from acne to epilepsy to smallpox. It was based on the idea that there were four humours of the body: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. Diseases were thought to be the by-product of having an imbalance of humours, most commonly blood, because it was thought to be the most dominant of the four. Bloodletting was therefore used to try to balance the humours and heal patients.
There were multiple ways to drain blood, such as using simple blades, leeches, or a scarificator. A scarificator was a spring-loaded mechanism that would be held against the skin and would snap the blades out and back in. The picture above of a metal box is a scarificator. The metal tube with spikes is an artifical leech, which would puncture the skin.
Quail is a collective name for many species of mid-sized birds in the order Galliformes. There are Old World quails and New World quails, which are two different families (Phasianidae and Odontophoridae, respectively). They are kept as pets, hunted for food, or used for their eggs.
We unfortunately do not know what species of quail we have, but it is cute!
A common kind of bird preserved in a glass jar.
Size: 1.5″ diameter x 3.25″ tall
From: Black Bear Bath Salts – Etsy
The pictures I included are of a polar bear skeleton, a grizzly bear, a cave bear skeleton, and a chart to show how big the cave bear was.
While we’re not too picky on what kind of bear, it would be really cool if we one day could get our hands on a cave bear skeleton or fossil! The cave bear went extinct about 27,500 years ago. Cave bears are most closely related to brown bears, with a last common ancestor dating to 1.2 to 1.4 million years ago.
Hopefully one day we’ll have a cave bear, but before that we’d love to acquire another species of bear skeleton too!