Snakes in a jar! Natural History livestreams masterclass on its wet collection

Natural History museum’s livestreamed masterclass will show how snakes and creepy crawlies are embalmed and preserved

Heritage Malta will be livestreaming on Facebook a masterclass from the National Musem of Natural History on its wet collection of specimens. 

The masterclass will be delivered by Stephanie Sammut, curator at this museum. 

In natural history museums, collections are broadly divided into two categories according to their mode of preservation, either wet or dry. This masterclass will cover several aspects in the preparation of fluid preserved specimens, also popularly known as wet or embalmed specimens.  

Fluid preservation is the use of chemicals in liquid form in which natural specimens are submerged and intended to be kept in good condition for an indefinite period. Such preservation ensures that the entire specimen is retained. 

The most common specimens conserved in fluid are biological specimens such as aquatic invertebrates (molluscs, crustaceans, etc.), reptiles, amphibians and fish. Some insects, plants, mammals and birds may also be preserved in fluid. 

An overview of several procedures involved in this technique will be given in this masterclass, including specimen preparation, fixation documentation, preservation as well as conservation. 

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