Conjoined Twin Mice

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Introduction: Conjoined Twin Mice

About: I've been posting Instructables since the site's inception, and now build other things at Autodesk. Follow me for food and more!

Mouse taxidermy 2.0: conjoined twins.
Warning: dead mice in decorative form. If you disapprove of this concept on principle, please peruse some of the other new Instructables instead.

Step 1: Learn Mouse Taxidermy

First, check out my Mouse Taxidermy Instructable. It covers all of the basic skills and tools you'll need to prepare your mice.

This Instructable will provide the extra steps necessary to create conjoined mice.

An aside:
If you're ethically opposed to the concept of creative and/or decorative taxidermy (and have chosen to look anyway) I have two questions for you: do you wear leather, and do you eat meat? If you answered yes to either, can you/would you kill and prepare the animals necessary to procure this meat and leather? Willfully ignoring the source of your food and clothing hypocritically outsources the ethical questions and is ultimately disrespectful to the animals involved. If you're an ethical vegan and eschew leather, I respect your opinion and your desire to avoid viewing discomfiting images. Thus I carefully label the Intro page of these Instructables, hide the more graphic pictures on the later pages, and promise not to send you any taxidermy for Christmas.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled Instructable.

Step 2: Devise and Create Voodoo Doll

Figure out what type of conjoined twins you'd like to make. How many heads, arms, legs, tails, etc do you want? How many mice do you have, and how does their coloration best match up? How will your composite creature be positioned?

Next, plan how to create a voodoo doll to accommodate these requirements. The wiring can be a bit tricky, so experiment a bit until you're happy. Make sure you're sizing the voodoo doll's segments against the proper mouse, as head and body size may vary.

I've chosen to join my mice at the hip, as shown below. I used two whitish mice, but you can select different colors for maximum contrast. Next time I'll probably avoid white as it can allow the wiring to show through.

Step 3: Skin, Wire, and Stuff

Skin and wire your mice as described in the Mouse Taxidermy Instructable.

Consider how the pelts will be arranged on your voodoo doll, and how the armature will be wired- planning ahead is key.

Insert the head(s) first, then wire the arms, arranging as necessary. You'll find somewhere along the line that you have extra skin; don't trim it off until you've arranged the rest of the pelt, as it's easier to deal with an excess of skin than a shortage. Patching is a big pain, but doable. It can even be planned if you want the multi-colored patchwork Frankenmouse look, but I wouldn't recommend it for your first try.

Step 4: Stitch and Finish

Bring the edges of adjacent pelts together and stitch using the same technique described in Mouse Taxidermy. You may choose to zigzag the pelt interface to avoid a more obvious line, but fur covers most things so it may not be worth it.

Now position the head(s) and limbs, and pin the faces and feet for drying. Fluff the ears and paws as necessary to keep them in proper position; moist fingers can help if they're getting crispy. I should have removed the mouth pins a bit sooner; better next time. I need to give their fur a brushing too.

Finally, give your critters appropriate costumes and arrange them for your festive Halloween decorative diorama. Remember the squabbling Two-Headed Monster Muppet? Good stuff.

Photo credit: ewilhelm
Teacher credit: Jeannie, who gives a great class in basic mouse taxidermy at Paxton Gate.

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    155 Comments

    I think this is great! Isn't that why you guys are here? to learn how to do new stuff?

    With this "politically correct" age, people are such faint hearted. It's a rat, get over it. If no one terminates them, they will breed like crazy. At least we're not wasting it.

    Be logical and grow a pair!

    I don't see why people have such a problem with it. I think it's cute.

    -The mice are already dead and bought at a store, it's not they they hit them with a hammer and used them just for this.
    - The mouse doesn't care.
    - Some humans even want to be made into art like this, and they can. I', sure you guys have heard of those body galleries.

    People have different opinions on this, and thats fine. Let's just not be so didsrespeactfil. If you don't like it, you should quitely leave.

    1 reply

    "- The mouse doesn't care."

    It obviously doesn't care because it's dead, I wouldn't want someone torturing my dead body after I died, even I don't know because I'm dead.

    I still don't know (and maybe don't want) to know why someone would want to do such a thing

    I totally agree with Beanie... What kind of parent lets a child play with dead animals? Whether they are preserved or rotting is totally beside the point! Dont be suprised when you're not winning any parenting/responsibility/ethical awards! It's not that people are vegetarian/vegan/squeamish... I wear leather, I eat meat etc... But this is just sick! Really, it's disgusting, I think you have a problem... I mean once again, surely it's one thing to be showing people the proper methods of taxidermy... But to be attaching dead animals together or dressing them up is just completely warped and not to mention disrespectful. And it can't be having a healthy influence on that poor kid.

    4 replies

    You know, I've been poking the eyes out of fish with a knife since I was 3 and I grew up fine. I see nothing wrong with this. My dad, being a hunter and taxidermist, allowed me to always play with his dead animals and help him around. I say it's good parenting.

    congratulations canida! you have won the responsibile ethical parenting award!

    award.jpg

     But... you play with live animals, don't you? 

    What is the point in teaching a child to fear death? They are going to die some day. 

    I don't personally do taxidermy, simply because I fear doing a poor job, which is the line I consider to be disrespectful to an animal. 

    But once a creature is dead, what is the point in letting the creature go to waste? 

    You are teaching the child that death isn't something to fear, and that all creatures can continue to be useful even after death. How is that a bad thing?

    user

    you should research rogue taxidermy and Anthropomorphic taxidermy its been around since 1851 thanks to Hermann Ploucquet. Competitions are held each year for rogue taxidermy. besides its rather rude to say someone has a problem, when its you who just can't handle it. your pushing your own insecurites onto others

    I can't believe some of you all are so intolerant of taxidermy like this.

    We're making the world our trashcans in so many ways. In contrast this is green, like when you kill an animal for one purpose and at least then you use all the parts of it, rather than wasting them. Like how theyr'e trying to recycle chicken feathers into something useful; so we don't just kill them for the meat and then have to find a way to get rid of 60 million cubic yards of waste per year.

     If I recall, Canida uses feeder mice or mice that she raised and lets die naturally. Not many people kill simply for the taxidermy. 

    reminds me of bearix potters works XD (i meant eh girl who has those little critters in her hands XD )

    This scares me... ima go back to the elctronics and try to forget this

    Oh so cute and twisted =) I think I love you.

    Let me go out and ask if you even read the instructable.
    I have two questions for you: do you wear leather, and do you eat meat? If you answered yes to either, can you/would you kill and prepare the animals necessary to procure this meat and leather? Willfully ignoring the source of your food and clothing hypocritically outsources the ethical questions and is ultimately disrespectful to the animals involved.
    Do you? Before insulting this instructable, maybe you should think about it. Here, let me do your thinking for you, if you cant.

    These mice were already dead, in a pet shop. Yes? Yes.

    Two things could happen. One, is the DEAD mouse is bought. The other is that it rots in a trash can. Which is more disrespectful to the mouse? Rotting? Yes, I agree.

    So the more respectful path is that the mouse is bought. Now, two things can happen. One, the mouse is left to rot/thrown away. Or it is used. Which is more disrespectful? Rotting? Again, I agree.

    Now, three things could happen. The mouse could be eaten by the person (D:), eaten by their pet, or used in some way. I'm pretty sure we both agree using the mouse is the most respectful.

    So, you can use the mouse in two ways. Use it in taxidermy, or bury it.

    I finalize my argument with why the mouse SHOULD NOT be buried.

    1. Burial is a religious rite, mainly. I HIGHLY DOUBT that mouse was Christian/Jewish/Islamic/whatever, and thus would take offense. Feel free to prove me wrong on this case, but I doubt I will see any tangible evidence.

    2. Mice carry parasites and diseases. Even if your pet can deal with these (e.g. millions of years of evolution has allowed it to grow protections against these diseases), then its fine for your pet. But birds and earthworms and other animals which use your "burial site" for food or shelter can contract these diseases/parasites and die.

    3. Rotting. Don't pretend your burial will stop the mouse from rotting, unless you bury it Egyptian mummy style (which is basically taxidermy anyways). Unless you bury your little friend 6 feet under in a metal coffin, expect things you may not want showing up at the surface, like fungi, maggots, flies, and all the other lovely things that come with dead, rotting animals.

    if you have any valid arguments against me, feel free to, but I wont listen unless you actually have a point beyond "ugh how crul and dasrespectfuo!!1"

    3 replies

    so i could do the same thing to my dead grandma?

    Unless you bury your little friend 6 feet under
    The typical human burial is more than enough to prevent most of the problems I mentioned. On the religious point, your grandma would probably have said how she wanted to be buried.

    You have some pretty good points and I agree with almost all of them. But in the end, it's human opinion on what is right or wrong. I'm not going to bring up leather cause most people in America wear it for fashion instead of warmth so that in mind, we are no different that this person with dis-respecting the dead. When I die, I want to be burned (less chemicals). But even if I was buried, Id prefer rotting over having my body messed with. I don't think that mice are smart enough to care, but it's still the idea. There are a lot of tiny facts that can make this right or wrong but like I said before, it's really up to you. I personally think though that it doesn't matter who does or doesn't have rights, we all should be given respect. If nobody sees the way I do, I couldn't care less cause I know this isn't the worst thing human kind has done. But if this long badly spelled rant has convinced you that this is messed up in some ways, then I will be happy.

    (Hope this was a valid argument even though I'm not really trying to pick sides.)