Friday, March 24, 2006

Name That Corpse

I visited the Brick Works Friday afternoon to take some pictures of a flower I had seen earlier in the week but I came across something else more interesting instead. At the north edge of the Brick Works was a dead animal lying on its back. It has been dead less than a week. I know that because I passed by the same spot last Saturday and it wasn't there.

I took these pictures for two reasons. The first is that I am pretty sure that it was killed by a dog. Any normal predator would have dragged it off and eaten it, but this body only shows signs of teeth marks and mutilation. The second reason is that I couldn't readily identify it. I checked my Mammals of Ontario but there isn't anything that exactly matches it. The second picture is a closeup of the head and the teeth look like incisors so it may indicate a carnivore. So I am leaning toward a Raccoon or a Badger. However the fur colouration doesn't match either species and the body has no tail, although this may have been removed.

I am hoping someone can identify it. I am thinking of printing these and posting them at the Brick Works just to illustrate why dogs should be kept on a leash.

I have other more graphic pictures if anyone is interested. I will send them by email on request. Only for strong stomachs.

Unknown mammal

Closeup of head. Note type of teeth.

1 comment:

Donwatcher said...


I have it from a reliable source that the animal is a raccoon. Apparently there is a fair bit of variability in fur colouration and the tail may have been cut off after death possibly by trophy seeking kids. Also there is no evidence that it was killed by dogs; - it could've been poisoned for example.