Geissmann, T. & Lim, K.K.P. 1994: Extraction of bacula from tanned gibbon skins. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 42: 29-41.

Extraction of bacula from tanned gibbon skins

Thomas Geissmann1 & Kelvin K.P. Lim1
1Anthropological Institute, University Zürich-Irchel, Switzerland
2Zoological Reference Collection, Dept. of Zoology, National University of Singapore

Key words: Baculum; gibbons; Hylobates; os penis; classification.

Abstract: Bacula or penis bones are thought to be of great potential importance for the classification of gibbons (Hylobatidae), but not enough specimens have been available for study to either support or reject this view. Because we found that bacula are often well preserved in tanned skins of museum specimens, we developed an easy and safe method to extract these fragile bones from such skins. Our method, described here, may be applied to other mammals as well. In addition, the method is of some value for sexing tanned skins of juvenile gibbons of the Hylobates concolor group. Sex determination is difficult in these gibbons and hitherto, there has been no reliable method for sexing tanned skins of these animals.

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