carrie_b1's picture

What is this?

Observed: 31st December 2010 By: carrie_b1

This is another photo of the animal I wish to identify. It was found in my horses field. I tried to put it on with the other picture but couldnt fiqure out how so have put them both on again. It was approx 40-50cm long with long looking back legs and shortish fronts. It was quite decomposed.

  • Dog
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
    Likely ID
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
    ID agreements (): 2 People
    • FenwickfieldFenwickfield’s reputation in MammalsFenwickfield’s reputation in MammalsFenwickfield’s reputation in Mammals
    • vburton
      Amateur Entomologists' SocietyBritish Mycological SocietyS159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
      vburton’s reputation in Mammalsvburton’s reputation in Mammals
Species interactions

No interactions present.


Fenwickfield's picture


I don't know of any dog breeds that have shorter front legs than rear,I think you need to see the tooth pattern and skull to say what it is but I would go for either mink,stoat even a escaped ferret as they have shorter front legs.


cabbageleek's picture


It is corpses like this that have lead to the myth of the Chupacabra. Funny that this mythical beast has turned up in England.

Fenwickfield's picture

Hope not

Just googled it and I hope not.


the naturalist man's picture


You win my vote for the most gross picture on iSpot!

I will admit from the outset I do not know what this is, I want to see the whole set of teeth to be sure, can you go back and bring yourself to remove the head and the skin from round the teeth? Or even bury it for a couple of months and come back with photos of a cleaned skull.

There are a few comments I can make, and one which I will just hint at. Firstly the head, from what I can see of the teeth there is no reason to rule out any carnivore, however, I would say the incisors look to be far too small to be dog but that could be due to the skin covering them. There is another possibility, it could be a cat. The general body shape, from what you can tell, is more cat than dog. If, as it appears, there is a gap between the canines and the molars, i.e. no pre-molars then cat is the only thing it could be as all other British carnivores have pre-molars abutting the canines - this animal does not appear to have that.

Now the thing which concerns me and which I'll only hint at. Look at the hindquarters carefully. The hind legs are not as long as you might first think - the hind legs and pelvis have been separated from the backbone, there is a large void between them. I can not think of any post-mortem activity which would have caused this and left the body with no signs of predation. In addition you found this in the middle of a field, how did a mummified body get there, again with no signs of predation? Mummification only occurs in warm, dry conditions not the middle of a field. It not having been eaten means it has not been there long, if not a fox then crows would have had it. Mummification takes months to occur. What happened to seperate the pelvis from the backbone and how did it get into the middle of a field?

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

hfraser02026's picture

Just came across this when

Just came across this when identifying something as "Mustelidae"... did we ever find out what it was and how it came to be in sorry state?