The bugs in our infamous Bug Room here at the ROM did an amazing job cleaning our Komodo Dragon bones. However, there was still some manual cleaning required. Luckily, there were dozens of volunteers ready to assist in the process; removing pieces of tendon or dried bits of muscle that the Hide Beetles were just not interested in. Check out this YouTube video of the painstaking process.
However, even after all of this, there was still some fatty grease in the bones that would eventually leach out. If not removed this grease would attract bugs that like to eat many of the specimens in the museum’s collection. So the bones were sent away where a chemical process was used to remove this grease, so that Doni the Komodo Dragon could be safely returned to the museum.
Ultimately, all of those nicely cleaned, but disarticulated bones had to be put back together like a giant puzzle (and not a fun one I’ve been told). Making sure that the bones were all held together and that the Komodo Dragon mount would be stable over its long life in the gallery required careful planning, know-how, and the occasional power tool.
The result of all of this hard work clearly speaks for itself!