Museum of Osteology Press
The Museum of Osteology located at 10301 S. Sunnylane Road, is a unique, one of a kind educational experience in Oklahoma City. Sharing the same building with Skulls Unlimited, the 7000 square ft. museum focuses on the form and function of the skeletal system, with hundreds of skulls and skeletons on display from around the world.
Do you have a child so fascinated with a hobby that you fear that it's taking focus from other "more important" priorities? Jay Villemarette would tell you not to worry. In fact, he'd tell you to encourage your child, even if that interest seems a bit eccentric. And as the Director of the new Museum of Osteology, he knows what he's talking about.
More than 300 skeletons reside in impressive displays offering an informative tour through the vast structural differences in the animal kingdom. From tiny bats to towering giraffes, the lovingly assembled collection opened Oct. 1 as a labor of love for museum founder and curator Jay Villemarette, who has collected and sold bones since 1986 as part of Skulls Unlimited.
Jay Villemarette has a few skeletons in his closet. But, he's also got skeletons in vats of solution, in beetle-filled aquariums, and drying on racks. His Museum of Osteology opened Oct. 1 in Oklahoma City. Osteology involves the study of bones.
For Jay Villemarette, a fascination with skeletons began in 1972, when he found a dog skull in the woods. Finding himself in need of a science project, the 7-year-old's father suggested he prepare the bones. After taking the advice, Villemarette found himself the recipient of an award for his work.
Even after Jay Villemarette fills his new 7,000-square-foot museum with exhibits, he'll still be left with a lot of empty space.
That's the nature of skeletons, after all: nothing but bones without skin or muscle to fill the gaps.
Consider the 40-foot humpback whale skeleton, for example, hanging from the rafters in the middle of the Museum of Osteology so that visitors on the second floor can look down and see other people through the bones.
Where in Oklahoma can you see the fully-articulated skeleton
of a 40-foot humpback whale? This nearly 2,500-pound skeleton
(which was featured on the Discovery Channel's program
"Dirty Jobs") can only be found at the new Skulls Unlimited
Museum of Osteology (which means the study of bones, skulls
Jay Villemarette said his professional success isn't so unusual – other entrepreneurs have formed businesses with the initial goal of supporting their related hobbies. But he had no idea that his love of skulls would take him so far ahead in the industry. Villemarette is founder of Skulls Unlimited International Inc., an Oklahoma City-based company promoted as the world's leading supplier of osteological specimens.
A museum that's truly one of a kind is under construction in Moore. The displays have nothing to do with art or history and everything to do with skeletons.
Jay Villemarette is the owner of Skulls Unlimited International in Moore. Right now, his crews are assembling the skeletal remains of varies species, including a humpback whale, for display in his new museum.
When Jay Villemarette receives a shipment, it often arrives from a far corner of the world and almost always contains bones. Often those bones are in the form of a dead animal's carcass, maybe a monkey, an elephant or even a huge whale. Whatever the case, they all contribute to Jay's unusual business, Skull's Unlimited. Located on Sunnylane Road, Skull's Unlimited is the world's largest purveyor of osteological specimens, better known as bones.