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Heather Simpson

I am interested in knowing if this phenomenon can occur in all feathers. My daughter and I have collected for years and have resently noticed many of the feathers we have collected being eaten completely down to the quill. I have never seen any insect in or near the area we keep them, so I am wondering if that could be the issue we are seeing. If so should we get rid of the feathers we have left. This would be quite difficult do to the fact that we have been collecting for over 10 years and have so wonderful specimens from a large variety of species.

Elio replies:If there is no moisture around, it's unlikely to be due to bacteria. I'd still look for insects. Put what you have left in a moisture-proof plastic bag, if you haven't already, and place it in the freezer, then thaw and repeat this three times. This works for botanical musuem specimens.

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