BY LEE POST (a.k.a. Boneman)
Step by step guides for the
preparation and articulation of
animal skeletons.
Bragging Rights
In July, 2015, I was invited to go to Fort Bragg, California, to help articulate a couple sea
lion skeletons for the NOYO Center for Marine Science. I had never before met the
director, Sheila Seamans, and was going to be working with Mike DeRoos and his wife
Michi Main, who are the top skeleton articulation specialists in Canada. I had met Mike
once before in Victoria, BC, as he was working on an 85-foot long blue whale skeleton
that came out as probably the nicest blue whale skeleton ever put on display. It is now
at the Beaty Museum of Bio Diversity in Vancouver, BC. Mike and Michi and family were
all there, and between everyone it was a dream team bone building experience.
Fort Bragg is a small coastal town. A town harder to get to than my hometown of Homer, Alaska! It
took three plane rides and a two-hour drive to get there from Homer. Fort Bragg is a similar sized
town to the one I live in. It had many of the same ingredients; interesting, ambitious, talented
people, small town "can do" mentality, and a marine science center director with a "volunteer
magnet" personality (And what a magnet! The volunteers showed up one right after another!).
We had two sea lion skeletons to do. An adult male California sea lion and a sub-adult, female Steller sea lion,
both found dead in the local area (one having been shot multiple times) -- we had over two dozen volunteers
actively working on the skeleton with us. They ranged from interns and docents, to students and parents, to
business owners and curious pedestrians who wandered by. Our workshop was an old community gymnasium
attached to the city hall. The mayor frequently came by, a state senator visited, and lots of curious people
popped in. With such good helpers, we got both skeletons finished within the eleven days.
Click on photos to enlarge
Sheila Seamans, Director
Bone Enthusiast and Volunteer Magnet
Michi Main
Organizer, Ultimate Mother, Seasoned
Bone Builder. Kept me fueled and
watered and well smiled.
Mike DeRoos
Michi's parents, Bonnie and Bill,
masters of the gourmet meals.
Local Kids - Mark and Layla
Mark runs the North Coast Brewing
Company, an ultimate brewer with some
beers and ales named after marine
This one drove far to come
help on the project.
A talented artist-type holding a couple
of his finished sea lion feet.
Tireless workers doing tedious detailed finish-work
Sheana, a superstar volunteer who did
some fine finish work.
Local artists came in to draw the bones
and sometimes help assemble.
Mike and Michi looking at the just
finished bull sea lion.
Mike tweaking the hyoid bones.
Me and the agitated bull sea lion.
. . .  and the pair of us doing the sea
lion thing.
The finished pair of them . . .  copyright 2005 by Lee Post                                                      Illustrations copyright  by Lee Post. All Rights Reserved                                                                        Merry Web Designs copyright 2005
THIS SITE LAST UPDATED: February 20, 2016