Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist

Can you identify this expired animal?

found here.

Update: Elizabeth Barbeiri said her family saw it about a mile east of Gurney’s Inn in Montauk, July 14. And Ryan Kelso, via iPhone, said he spotted it — alive! — in the Montauk dunes. “It looked about the size of an average fox, gray in color, eyes like a mole, hairless and was breathing quite heavily,” he wrote – newsday

Below is not a turtle without a shell, it is a soft shelled turtle. They don’t look alike and according to one person a turtle’s shell is attached to its backbone so you can’t remove the shell without opening all its guts.

If it is a decaying dog, why does it seem to have a beak like a bird?  Here’s another photo:

UPDATE: 08/02/2008
Following this lead we looked into “eerie” Plum Island and contacted Dr. Larry Barrett, Center Director of Plum Island Animal Disease Center, who was kind enough to supply his take:

“It is impossible to accurately identify the species of animal from the photo. There is no scale from which to judge its size. Additionally, when a body has had prolonged exposure to water and predators, it can be altered or appear different from its normal form. If we had the actual body, we could tell you what it is; however, from viewing a canine tooth in the picture, we could guess it may be a cat or a raccoon. I can state categorically that it is not associated with the work performed at Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC). PIADC serves as the nation’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases of livestock by identifying such diseases through diagnostic testing and by developing vaccines to protect livestock from those diseases.”

The mystery thickens … or does it? Steven T. Papa, a Senior Endangered Species/Federal Projects Biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has told Plum:

“Based on these higher resolution photos, it appears to be a raccoon based on estimating overall ear length to body length ratio in the photos to measurements found in the literature, as well as lower jaw and front leg characteristics.

This is the best I could do without seeing the ‘animal.’” – hamptons

Update 10.21.2010: Emma posted this a while ago, but I just took a close look. I looked at a lot of racoon skulls and I’d buy it being a raccoon if the poor animal lost part of it’s front jaw and large front teeth, resulting in the “beak” appearance.


53 comments on “Can you identify this expired animal?

  1. Keschey
    July 31, 2008

    The second photo is a soft shelled turtle, rather than a turtle with no shell… http://www.smh.com.au/news/travel/rare-softshell-turtle-found-in-mekong/2007/05/17/1178995303410.html (Sydney Morning Herald)

    No idea what the first photo is though.

  2. Keschey
    July 31, 2008

    Turtle shells are also attached to their backbones, so if you took the shell off one, it’s back would be mutilated too.

    • Daniel
      May 26, 2009

      What about if the shell had decomposed to the point of being right next to the skin all around, it may look like that.

      • Flo
        April 5, 2010

        The spine and the rips of a turtle are attached directly beneath the shell. So if the shell was decomposed you would see a similar form in structure made out of the spine and the rips.

      • Flo
        April 5, 2010

        Forgott, this before:
        The shell of a turtle is in fact nothing more but its skin made out of much thicker horn plates then the softer parts of the turtle. So you can’t remove the shell without opening the turtles body…

  3. Richard Hart
    July 31, 2008

    It’s nothing more than a dog that’s been in the water for a while. The teeth are, if you forgive the pun, a dead giveaway. A short-muzzled breed, like a boxer. It’s hard to tell without a measurement reference.

    • Anonymos
      April 27, 2009

      Could be

    • Anonymos
      April 27, 2009

      acctually-it prob is it was pribably tied up,purposly drowned,and disfigureated;who knows

  4. Xeno
    July 31, 2008

    Very interesting Keschey, thanks! Richard, possibly … but what made its fur fall off and why does it seem to have a beak like a bird? Are you thinking that only the front of its face decayed down to the bone while the rest of its body didn’t?

  5. harrison
    August 1, 2008

    it’s a fetus dog that has decomposed a bit.

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      definitely not a dog fetus..[insult]

  6. anonymous
    December 27, 2008

    i thought it was a bird .
    seeing that there’s a beak .
    and the two front legs look like wings
    Do birds have tails O_O?
    The poor thing could’ve been tortured .
    theres some kind of rope tied around its front legs
    I think i see sand also on the body .
    Could’ve been lying there for a while .
    haven’t been moving .
    anyway .
    thats what i think =O

  7. dogsounds
    December 28, 2008

    I think soon after it was revealed as a prop for some TV show or other, being used in filming, but I forget…

  8. dogsounds
    December 28, 2008

    Oops, actually, after a little bit more research, the movie prop story may not actually be correct any longer. Seems the story moved on without me. Was supposedly a hoax perpetuated by the producer of an independent film, “Splinterheads”, but then the producer himself is alleged to have blamed tis connection on an enterprising 16-year old. Now, I have no idea.

    http://gothamnews.co.uk/2008/08/16/monster-what-monster-splinterheads-crew-change-their-tune/

  9. Bonnie
    February 20, 2009

    I think that it’s some kind of turkey vulture, because the from “legs” look kind of like wings, considering that the finger looking things are like the end of wings. and theres a beak that resembles some kind of birds. the feathers could have fallen off, if also could have been in a fight with some animal that would result in the loss of its feathers. as for the tail, i don’t know..

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      bonnie, [insult]… have you ever even seen a turkey vulture? obviously not. this things arms, are clearly not wings, havent you ever seen wings? or a bird.. dont you know what they look like, i mean really. please tell me this wasnt a serious statement, i hope you were just bored and wanted to try and sound smart, which you failed at, because if you really think that this animal in question lost ALL of its feathers in a fight with another animal then you need major help, and a seroius dose of common sense..just ask someone close to beat it into you..thats the only way i know of that people like you ever get any. i pity you. [insult]

  10. Xeno
    February 20, 2009

    If you had a picture that showed how this is a turkey vulture, I still have that $10 gas card waiting to be awarded. I just need some photo proof or a link or something that would definitely solve the mystery. So far, I think it is probably a gaff, that is, a fake monster created from the parts of different real dead animals.

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      wow xeno, you must be big time, a whole $10 gas card at stake? you spare no expense do you. what else comes with the prize? used sholaces, some paperclips, a flat tire and some greasy rags too maybe, :) WHAT A PRIZE. [insult]

      • Xeno
        October 10, 2010

        Ballin, I worked with emotionally disturbed people and you have the signs of having suffered physical or mental abuse from someone close to you. There is help, if you want it. It is not too late. There is love and hope out there, and you are worthy of it. Write to me: xeno735@yahoo.com

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      and no its not a “gaff”… [insult] does it look sewn together? no. its not a “monster” pieced together from different animals. [insult]

  11. Pingback: Xenophilia Oddities « Zipline Conservative

  12. Kyla J. Glaser ESQ
    April 22, 2009

    The absolute answer, from the renowned Loren Coleman, a well-recognized cryptozoologist (the scientific guys who investigate “monsters” and other “animal-like unknown life forms” for proof of new species), unequivocally states this “monster”, sometimes nicknamed the “Montauk Monster” is really just a very decayed raccoon who has decayed and mummified somewhat. It was found and believed to be either 1) a genetically altered animal or new species created by a large research laboratory that used to be on Montauk Island, NY, or 2) the Jersey Devil (a very frightening winged creature that cruises around the Pine Barrens of New Jersey) having decayed a bit, due to the beak-like appearance of the front mandible. For the entire explanation, see
    http://www.history.com/video.do?name=monsterquest&bcpid=1541043115&bclid=9525765001&bctid=1883578405, or go to MonsterQuest on History Channel videos and type in “Montauk Monster” or view the full episode of the “Jersey Devil”. Hope that helps – you can send the $10 gas card to someone who needs it – I don’t have a car. Bye all.

  13. Anon
    May 16, 2009

    It looks like a deskinned racoon. You find lots of these in illegal skinning factories where they skin animals like cats, dogs, foxes, etc.. alive…

    Message: Stop buying animal fur products.

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      you: [insult]. there are no illegal animal skinning factories where they skin cats and dogs. wow

  14. basss
    May 18, 2009

    it’s a wolf, dog, eagle, mix

  15. Russ
    May 27, 2009

    I think Anon is on the right track with the idea that it’s a skinned animal. That would explain the lack of fur on the body, and the lack of lips near the teeth.. The “cuff” on the front leg looks like maybe the skin has been turned inside out and pulled over the paw. The “beak” shape would make sense if the rest of the snout was buried by sand when the water washed by.

  16. henry
    June 9, 2009

    It’s pig and turtle or pig or valcher mabye a boar!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Ham
    August 10, 2009

    HIPPOGRIFF!!

  18. Michael
    September 20, 2009

    I would say it is most deffinetly a photoshopped pic…

  19. K
    November 1, 2009
  20. Savannah
    November 12, 2009

    I belive that it could be a movie prop but im not sure (3rd pic) were any of these animals found alive? if they were than i have no idea what they are.

  21. Savannah
    November 12, 2009

    the 3rd pic looks like a griffen mixed dog!

  22. Emma
    November 27, 2009

    It’s definitely a decomposing raccoon:

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      WRONG!!! lol wow just…so [screw]ing wrong

      • PJ
        October 22, 2010

        I have to agree, I’ve skinned a lot of coons and thats about what they look like. (Just muscle and not skin)

  23. bryna
    March 7, 2010

    the turtle looing thing in Cantor’s giant soft-shelled turtle it lives in cambodia look it u. the other one idk.

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      learn how to type before you go for the balls, and try to be a big girl and post a comment

  24. Anonymous3
    March 22, 2010

    That first picture is gross. i dont know what it is but if i saw that thing in real life i would probably puke and then run

  25. Alexis
    April 3, 2010

    It’s a softshelled snapper turtle

  26. Alexis
    April 3, 2010

    It’s a yangzte soft shell turtle!!

  27. HonestKelly
    May 7, 2010

    It is a dog. And i am very upset that you would do all of this for a little publicity. You do all of this stuff to try to confuse peole and give them bribes to tell your what it is? Really? And when u said tht if it is a dog, why does it have a beak..it is obviously just what the scull of a dog’s nose looks like. I am horrified that a stumbled across this picture of this poor dog, and even more saddened that someone was heartless enough to put it on the internet for their own publicity.

    • Xeno
      May 7, 2010

      I’ve looked at a number of dog skulls and didn’t see any with a beak. Horrified? Publicity? Bribes? Confuse people? Me?

      • Intrachresodist
        June 9, 2010

        The “beak” looks like cartilage to me.

        Pretty safe to say this is not chupacabra :-) Call me when you have captured a live alien.

    • ballin
      October 9, 2010

      wow kelly, i think you take the cake of all the [insulting term for people of lesser intelligence] on here. MOST DEFINITELY not a dog. really? have you ever seen a dog? THEY DONT HAVE BEAKS!! and dog skulls dont have beaks either wow. [insulting term for people of lesser intelligence]!!

  28. Anonymous
    June 8, 2010

    To me, it looks like it could have been tortured. But it looks like it has a beak, and on it’s two front legs, It looks a bit like there arebird claws. And to me looks like it has paws at the back of it. but I’m not so sure.

  29. Kevin
    October 16, 2010

    It is obviously a deformed and a gross experiment of our government. Looks like they combined a human, eagle and dog to create some form of military experimental fighting dog. There is fingers, a beak, a dog and a skull similar to that of a human (look at the ears). such a shame our government is using children to develop a new breed of animal. Do you ever wonder where those missing kids from the milk carton are at??? Thanks to our CIA. Hmmmm.

    • PJ
      October 22, 2010

      ya thats it. our Government is trying to make dog that can fly.

  30. Pj rocks
    June 27, 2011

    thats clearly a shellless tortise, i know because it is in the desert and has a beak, also its structure. it was not skinned but is scales are connected to the chell so if removed its real skin shows. there is nothing moer to it, it is not a cat, wolf, or raccoon.

    no affense but u all to not know animal anatomy if u thought it was a raccoon, dog, or cat

    • schnauzerbreeder
      June 27, 2011

      u r indeed right. idiots haha, raccoon, really?

    • Xeno
      June 27, 2011

      This is wrong for the reason already stated. A tortoise’s shell is fused to the animals spine. You can bit remove the shell and see smooth skin. A tortoise with the shell removed would look like a mess of guts.

  31. lupo cecoslovacco
    January 29, 2013

    These are genuinely great ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  32. spiritusursus
    May 16, 2014

    Raccoon. You pegged it. Mystery solved.

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2008 by in Biology, Contest, Strange.
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