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River Monsters' Host and Other Experts Weigh in On East River Animal Carcass Identification


"Not to be ruled out, but unlikely in this case, is the assembly of hybrid animals by taxidermists..."

On Wednesday, The Blaze alerted you to the strange animal carcass that washed ashore from New York's East River over the weekend. Dubbed the "East River Monster," speculation as to what the beast could be has ranged from a rodent to a pig to a dog with many more explanations in between.

Now, animal experts are weighing in, including Animal Planet's "River Monsters" host Jeremy Wade. Wade, who is considered an expert on animals that are meant to be found in rivers, spoke with Gawker and said decisively "this is not a fish, which narrows it down a bit." Here's more on Wade's other thoughts:

From my previous incarnation as a biology teacher I can say it's also not a pig: pigs have characteristic cloven feet, which this animal hasn't got. The teeth also look wrong for a pig. From the picture it's hard to get a sense of scale — some kind of rodent would be my guess, and it's common for dead bodies to swell in water, which can give them a grotesque appearance, not to mention crabs etc partially eating soft parts of the face. Not to be ruled out, but unlikely in this case, is the assembly of hybrid animals by taxidermists, from bits of several unrelated creatures. This practice used to be popular in Japan, and I once saw a shrine dedicated to such an animal, not that I'm suggesting that should be the fate of this unfortunate beast.

Gothamist reported yesterday Cornell University naturalist professor Paul Curtis saying is appears to be a dog:

"The best guess looking at body conformation and dentition, is this was likely a small dog that drowned and has been floating in the river for quite a while. It is obviously bloated, and all the hair has slipped off the carcass. The Montauk monster that washed up on LI... that was determined to be a bloated raccoon carcass. The teeth in this case look more dog-like than raccoon-like to me. It’s tough to confirm the species from the photos without the jaw in hand to examine the teeth in detail."

Gothamist also had Vickie Karp from New York's Parks Department clarifying the department's initial statement that it actually "said it was a cooked pig and we disposed of it." It was originally reported that the department said "it was a pig left over from a cookout."

With no official, conclusive and agreed upon explanation yet, let the speculation continue.

The photos of the creature were taken by Denise Ginley, and more can be viewed on here.

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