5.8.1 Preservation and storage Bats can be skinned or stuffed, but in British bats the body is so small that it can be easily dried out and will retain some of the body shape in a desiccated condition – as long as it is kept dry and free from pest beetle. A better way is to store it in alcohol (industrial methylated spirit) with the abdomen opened to allow preserving fluid into the body cavity. A piece of matchstick can be cut to prop open the mouth so that the teeth can be examined. Specimens should be kept in the dark and alcohol levels should be kept topped up. Bats are also suitable for freeze drying if such facilities are available. Long-dead bats maybe useful for skeletal material, particularly skulls. Such museum specimens will have a variety of purposes, but there maybe other useful purposes fora dead bat that require different forms of preservation. Some uses for dead bats are outlined below.