Can you identify this expired animal?

By | July 30, 2008

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.

58 thoughts on “Can you identify this expired animal?

  1. Keschey

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

    1. Daniel

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

      1. Flo

        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.

      2. Flo

        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…

  2. Richard Hart

    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.

    1. Don't mind me, just a random person

      I don’t know if a picture came out when you saw this, but the comparison of the corpse and a raccoon seem to be a more reasonable explanation, since the skull matches that of a raccoon, along the body being very similar to a raccoon’s body, even the hands, so my guess is that it’s a raccoon that had a really horrible death

  3. Xeno Post author

    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?

  4. anonymous

    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

  5. dogsounds

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

  6. dogsounds

    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.

  7. Bonnie

    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..

    1. ballin

      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]

  8. Xeno Post author

    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.

    1. ballin

      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]

      1. Xeno Post author

        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:

    2. ballin

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

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  10. Kyla J. Glaser ESQ

    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, 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.

  11. Anon

    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.

  12. Russ

    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.

  13. Savannah

    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.

  14. bryna

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

  15. Anonymous3

    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

  16. HonestKelly

    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 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.

    1. Xeno Post author

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

      1. Intrachresodist

        The “beak” looks like cartilage to me.

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

    2. ballin

      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]!!

  17. Anonymous

    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.

  18. Kevin

    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.

    1. Don't mind me, just a random person

      I never knew a government so focused on politics, boosting their approval ratings, Christianity, NSA Surveillance, with low-thinking politicians, would have the time, tax dollars, approval from within many levels of the government, along with finding scientists that are willing to participate in this, to make a hybrid of human, eagle, and dog to create a military experimental fighting dog, which was physically impossible at the time of this post, seems pretty reasonable! 😀

  19. Pj rocks

    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

      1. Don't mind me, just a random person

        yeah, definitely not a raccoon, let’s just forget the patches of fur, uncanny resemblance to a raccoon, the skull matching a raccoon skull, the tracing of a raccoon body, along with many other things, just to agree with you and say it’s a shell-less tortoise because you know everything and those who say it’s a raccoon just don’t know anatomy 🙂 , I guess my extensive research of taxonomy means nothing since I say that this corpse is a raccoon, because “Pj rocks” knows all the answers! 😀

    1. Xeno Post author

      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.

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