Squid Beak Preservation

Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
76
In my invertebrate zoology lab we dissected squid and I kept the beak because we were just throwing them out afterward. I was wondering what I have to do to preserve it. Can I dilute rubbing alcohol to make it 40%, or am I supposed to preserve it in something else? Do I have to do anything to it before putting it in alcohol?

Any advice would be great!
 
Jean;105097 said:
Hi Heather,

I have a word of caution, I find dried beaks to be incredibly brittle. I stored my research beaks in 70% ETOH which kept some flexibilty in the beaks.

J

I know Steve has mentioned 70% ethanol or 40% isopropyl is good for the big beaks he handed out at MOTE. I have to confess, I've got mine in 70% isopropyl because it was easier to get (probably 'cause you can't drink it) and I wasn't sure if it was OK to use tapwater to dilute it down to 40% or if I should get distilled or RO water for that. I've been meaning to dilute it down next time I have a bottle of distilled water handy, but it seems OK for now...

- M
 
Thanks! I didn't want to let it dry out because I was worried that it would be too fragile. I had it in water, then I put it in the freezer for safe keeping. It's now in 99% Isopropyl, and I was thinking that maybe I should dilute it with distilled water, because I'm not sure if I can use tapwater. It's been a little less than a day and it seems fine. Is deionized water ok to use to dilute it?
 
Not sure to be honest, school supplier maybe? Oh wait....Methylated spirit is 95% ethanol, 5% methanol, to avoid the purple colour go for white spirit! But rubbing alcohol is just isopropyl and that should be fine and I imagine you can get that at a chemist (pharmacy, drugstore....? struggling with Kiwi vs US english here!!!).

J
 
I considered everclear or Bacardi 151 rum for 70% ethanol. I seem to remember someone saying that vodka can work, but I think that's usually only 40% (and has random stuff that's not just alcohol and water, as the rum would be...)
 
Mine are sitting in a corn whiskey jar with three fingers of said spirit and the rest isopropyl.... yes steve, white corn whiskey :sagrin:

my folks are coming down for turkey day so i had to clean out the freezer... consequently i just put some smooth dogfish and bonnetheads in isopropyl (in a pickle jar - only suitable glass jar i could find, but still somewhat fitting)
 
Heather Braid;105099 said:
Thanks! I didn't want to let it dry out because I was worried that it would be too fragile. I had it in water, then I put it in the freezer for safe keeping. It's now in 99% Isopropyl, and I was thinking that maybe I should dilute it with distilled water, because I'm not sure if I can use tapwater. It's been a little less than a day and it seems fine. Is deionized water ok to use to dilute it?

Hi Heather; 99% iso is way too strong (had it been a soft-bodied animal as opposed to beak it would now be shrivelled up into a crusty little blob on the bottom of the jar). You only need 40% iso or 70% ETOH - any more will simply dehydrate the tissues. As you don't intend to 'drink' the solution (I sincerely hope not), it wouldn't matter if you diluted it with tap or toilet [safer than corn whisky!] water.
Cheers
O
 
Thank you for the help. I just diluted it with tapwater. I’m hoping that the beak will be resistant to the isopropyl alcohol that I’ve had it in. It looks ok so far. Don’t worry, I don’t have any intention to drink the solution. lol I’m new to this all, but I’ll catch on eventually.
 
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