Taxidermy (Gr.τάξις arrangement, and δέρμα, a skin), the art of preparing the skins of animals so that they retain their natural appearances, and also of arranging them in the forms and natural positions of the animals from which they are taken. This often includes the preservation of the skeleton or parts of the skeleton, which is replaced as being the most convenient model or frame on which the skin can be placed. The art also includes the preservation of the whole of the bodies of small animals, which in such cases is synonymous with embalming. The principal operations in taxidermy are the removal of the skin, which requires much care and dexterity, and its treatment with some preserving preparation, as arsenical soap, composed of arsenic 1 oz., white soap 1 oz., carbonate of potash 1 dr., distilled water 6 drs., camphor 2 drs. This soap prevents the attacks of insects and keeps the skin soft. The larger skins are often treated with the following preparation, called "preservation powder:" arsenic and burnt alum each 1 lb., ground oak bark 2 lbs., camphor ½ lb. Gloves should be used in applying the preparation. Corrosive sublimate, carbolic acid, and more recently salicylic acid, have been used in different ways with success.

There are so many details that directions cannot be given in this place. - See directions by Prof. S. F. Baird in the "Report of the Smithsonian Institution" for 1856; Swainson's "Taxidermy," forming a volume of Lardner's "Cabinet Cyclopaedia;" and the "Taxidermist's Manual," by Capt. Thomas Brown, F. Z. S. (New York, 1875).