Naturalists Confirm Montauk Monster Is Relative Of Rocky Raccoon
Originally Posted: July 31, 2008
The carcass washed up on the beach in front of Surfside Restaurant in Montauk and was photographed by one of the discoverers, Jenna Hewitt.
- The "Montauk Monster" as the mania of internet bloggers have dubbed him, is a two-foot long carnivorous specimen that washed up on a Montauk beach Sunday, July 13, sparking wild speculation and generally making people's skin crawl, is now conventionally believed to be a relative of Rocky, the raccoon. Larry Penny, director of Natural Resources for the Town of East Hampton, believes the creature is a raccoon in the beginning stages of a watery decay.
Confirming that educated guess, wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin, of international acclaim, appeared on Fox News
to help identify the animal. "It appears to be an incredibly rare raccoon," Corwin offered with amusement. Corwin classified the animal as a carnivorous mammal due to teeth and evidence of a once hirsute body, now in the early stages of decomposition.
The skull of a deceased raccoon.
With a facial feature reminiscent of a 'beak,' throwing most onlookers off track in identifying the monster
, experts say it is more likely the bony remnants of a raccoon's snout and the bottom row of teeth disqualify assertions that this is a shell-less turtle. Corwin professionally disposed of the turtle theory
pointing out that a turtle's spine is connected to the inside of its shell, making a separation more gruesome than Rocky's sheen, glossy back reveals.
A look at a raccoon's paw shows the
long, extended fingers similar to
the mysterious creature.
The hands have led conspiracy theorists to mark the discovery of an evolved mammal with clawed flippers. However the crushed, water-rot paws match more closely with diagrams of small mammals and Rocky's extended middle finger seems to suggest separated digits.
Raccoons are native to coastal marshes, a prevalent landscape on the East End, and regularly thrive in residential areas. Rocky may be just another unfortunate, unwitting casualty of rough seas.
Updated: July 31, 2008, 3:59 pm
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