Rebecca Alexis Turner writes:
I looked though your site and was shocked by the numbero f people saying the creatures were deceased raccoon or opossum.
As a wildlife rehabber with Nuts For Squirrels Wildlife Rehabilitation located in North East Florida (First Coast Region) I have cared for opossum and raccoon on numerous occasions and know for fact that the washed up creatures are NOT former raccoon or opossum.
I was also a three year Environthon Team member in both the Fred B. Miller and Florida State Envirothons. My school’s team always placed first in our county. And scored high in Wildlife Identification. This brings me to the reasons the creatures are not raccoon or opossum.
Raccoon do not take on a beaked appearance when their skulls are bared, contrary to what has been posted in several places. The “slight beak” the skull takes clearly displays the root mount for the teeth. This is not seen in and of the Montauk images or images of similar creatures. Also the orbital ridge of a raccoon skull line up with the lower brain case to form a rounded dinner bell shape not seen in the bird eye view images of the Montauk skull. Lastly, the limbs of the Montauk creatures are too short to be raccoon, raccoon have long limbs that leave them looking like they walk on stilts until the long belly fur of adulthood grows in.
Opossum have to few forward teeth, a shorter second fang behind the long canines on the upper jaw, and narrower orbits.
Otters are ruled out for both as well due to lack of orbital delta wings on the outer forward orbit rim. However, river or sea otters are a possible explaination for the images of the Canadian creature “The Ugly One”. Regarding dentition and skull shape.
Plum Island may hold the key to the Montauk and its kin simply because it is an ISLAND. In the fossil record islands and their limited genetic pool have given rise to rare creature localized to those locations alone. Tasmanian Wolf/Tiger for example. Galapagos finches and tortoises for another. And finally in example, lemurs, foosa cats and several other species from the island of Madagascar.
I hope this helps your readers to educate themselves and cuts down on ignorant posts.