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Archive for the ‘raccoons’ Category

Intelligent “dog with hands” versus primitive (and quite stupid) marsupial:

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montauk monster I

In a story that gets stranger and stranger, the truth about the first Montauk Monster has finally been revealed.

It was a dead raccoon.

A man has told the blogger Drew Grant that he and his friends were walking on the beach when they came across the animal. They took photographs, and they put the raccoon an inflatable raft, set it on fire, and pushed it out into the waves. In the US culture, this is called a Viking funeral, for it is believed that the Norse disposed of their dead in this way. However, I don’t think they used ships to do ceremonial cremations. They did bury people in ships.

Of course, the man was with his young friends, and they were doing the young male thing on the beach.

“In the interest of full disclosure…this did happen shortly after a waterboarding endurance competition, and just before a clothespins-on-your-genitals challenge.”

I think that says it all.

Two weeks later, the raccoon washed up on the beach, and a media sensation was born. After having its fur singed off from the “Viking funeral” and rotting in the ocean for two weeks, the disgusting animal washed ashore, looking very little like the raccoon that it once was.

So the first Montauk Monster is now residing in Valhalla.



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Here's a raccoon skull. Please compare it with the photos of the Montauk Monster II.

Here's a raccoon skull. Please compare it with the photos of the Montauk Monster II.

An albino raccoon that looks a lot like an unusual white dog was trapped in Chetek, Wisconsin.

NYC has issued a warning about raccoon feces. Raccoons carry a unique roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis. This roundworm can cause nerve damage or even death. A teenager in New York has been blinded and an infant as suffered brain damaged because of the roundworm.

I find all of these raccoon stories far more interesting than the conspiracy theories about the putrid raccoon remains that have washed up on Long Island.

However, they aren’t nearly as funny.

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Darren Naish opines.

And, independent of each other, he and I came up with notion of comparing the dentition using the skulls of known animals. His analysis was posted yesterday at 6:04 A.M yesterday, while mine was posted around noon yesterday.

But it’s an effing raccoon.

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One of my favorite little things people do on these reports is they never give you any scale. The original press reports about the animal said it was 3 feet long. That’s about how big a raccoon is. This particular raccoon was fatter than the original one, and its skin was much more decomposed. The original animal was most likely a juvenile. In August, young raccoons begin to disperse from their natal territories, and many of them die within their first year of life.

This new decomposing raccoon is fat. In the winter months raccoons put on the pounds to keep warm and to have reserves in case of hard times. However, a raccoon living in the region where this beast was found would never experience hard times.  It would have plenty of easy to access food all the time. We humans leave more than enough things for raccoons to eat, and some people even feed them, which is a very good way to create a colony of nasty nuisance raccoons. Keep in mind that a raccoon can kill a small dog or cat, and they are more than capable of seriously injuring people or larger dogs. And they are a vector for rabies, which could easily reach epidemic proportions again in New York State.

Now, if you think that either of these animals are anything more than decomposing raccoons, I’m sorry, you’re just wrong.

This animal most likely doesn’t have anything to do with the swine flu, biological warfare, or other government conspiracies. The government might be interested in controlling raccoon numbers. After all, I don’t think there are too many people on Long Island with coonhounds.

I mean we all love conspiracy theories, and nobody trusts the US government.

In doing some research on the Montauk Monster, some “naturalist” said that the original couldn’t a raccoon. The legs were too long.

That’s nonsense. Raccoons have rather long legs– especially young ones. They can easily outrun a person or even a hard-running coonhound. Further, North American raccoons get rather shaggy, and this long hair covers up their physique. Juveniles that haven’t spent the winter gorging on garbage and those dear poor country ‘coons that have to hunt for their own food have much lighter frames.

However, if you look at the Second Montauk Monster, you can see that this is definitely a fat raccoon. The descripting of the digits on its front paws are exactly we would expect from a raccoon. Raccoons have “fingers.” In fact, I can take to some mud puddles right now that have what look like baby hand prints with long claws on them. Those are the tracks of a raccoon’s front paws. The raccoons use those front paws to catch things like tad poles, frogs, and crayfish. Their digits are rather sensitive and can feel the prey

I can’t believe that so many “experts” can’t figure this out.

Here’s the photo of the original second animal. It is only 3 feet long, and it has a tail.

The skull is really what gives it away. Look at the dentition. The first three top and bottom premolars are exactly the same as this raccoon skull.

Now, dogs have carnassial teeth and premolars that are the same shape, but they are spaced rather differently. And in a dog like a boxer, the carnassials and premolars are don’t line up at all. That’s why neither Montauk Monster was a brachycephalic dog. A brachycephalic dog will have very unusual spacing with its teeth, not near perfect alignment. The spposed misaligned jaw in the first monster does not correspond with a boxer or bulldog’s jaw structure. Typically, the lower jaw juts too far foward in these dogs. When dogs have the upper jaw jutting forward it is usually in doliocephalic breed, like a greyhound, rough collie, or a borzoi.

It is also probably not a cat. The carnassials of a cat are much more robust than that of any dog or raccoon. Even a small cat has relatively large carnassials.

To me, the skull is the dead diagnostic feature that says this animal, like the last one was nothing more than a decomposing raccoon.

Whether it has anything to do with the “swine flu”– well, I think the Montauk Monster probably had more to do with the JFK assassination than the swine flu.

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It turns out that another dead raccoon has washed up on the beach-- just like this one. Both have been deemed monsters.

Another dead raccoon has washed up on the beach-- just like this one that washed ashore last summer. And just like last time, let the media circus commence!

Just when you thought we had better things to worry about.

Another rotting, stinking raccoon corpse has washed up on a Long Island beach.

This time, it’s in Southold.

Like the Montauk Monster from last summer, this corpse washed up on the coast, and like that creature, this one looks like a raccoon that got washed into the ocean and then rotted away for a few weeks.

Raccoons have rapidly expanded their range northward since European colonization. They have rather loved our cities with all of our refuse and pet food to eat and buildings in which they can den. However, very few of these animals die from predation. In fact, very few animals will even attempt an attack on a raccoon. Coyotes do not typically attack raccoons. There’s a very good reason for them avoiding raccoons. Raccoons can fight with ferocity of a small bear, and they have been known to seriously injure or even kill even modestly sized dogs. Thus, raccoon numbers aren’t typically checked by predation. In the East, alligators are about the only animals that regularly hunt them.

Disease does check their numbers. The worst of these diseases is rabies. On the East Coast, a bad epidemic of raccoon rabies has been going on for decades. And let’s not forget that people poison raccoons.

Now, one would think that the average person would be familiar with raccoons. After all, they are a very common species.

But you’d be wrong.

Two things bring these stories to the fore.

One is that most people are somewhat ignorant of the natural world, even with common species such as this one. When your whole life is spent either in the domesticated suburbs or within the concrete and steel contrivances we call cities, you really don’t develop the kind of appreciation or understanding of the natural world that you would if you’d grown up in the middle of a forest or in farm fields. If something even remotely weird shows up, you can bet the media will be called.

The other thing that brings these stories to the fore is that the media are forever searching for sensational headlines. Newspapers are having a very tough go of it these days, and anything that sells copy is going to be a boon to any journalist.

But the Montauk Monster II is the same as the first–  it’s a rotten, stinking, decomposing raccoon.

Update: MSNBC has picked up the story.

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