Field of Science

Bizarre 'alien corpse' has idiots stumped

I know we've all become more familiar with 'mystery monster' corpse stories in the last few years, but I think they may have reached a new nadir. Fairfax featured a story today titled 'Bizarre 'alien corpse' discovered in Russia has experts stumped'. This is the corpse in question (image from linked article):

Supposedly, no-one (including a quoted 'biologist') has the slightest idea what this is, and the find has been sent off for extensive testing. Well, I don't know if I can claim to be any kind of expert myself, but even I can recognise the fricking Parrot of King Charles I when I see it.


  1. Well, pretty obviously the skull, and I would say a forelimb, of some mammal, but I would have guessed a small carnivore -- fox, maybe -- rather than a rabbit. How strictly did you intend the reference to the "parrot"?

  2. I had thought that I was seeing the long diastema of a rabbit, but you could be right. I don't think there's a forelimb there, though; I think the lower/rear part of the object is mostly just dried skin from the animal's neck or back.

  3. Hmm…Could be. There seem to be two teeth at the trot of the upper jaw, which I suppose might be the first and second incisors of a lagomorph. The profile of the skull -- concave at the junction of the braincase and snout -- looks more dog/mustelid than rabbit to me, though. And maybe it is covered up by the remaining flesh, but there is no sign of the lacy latticework visible in the pre-orbital region of rabbit skulls.
    As to the "postcranial" stuff, you could be right, but if you are it is bent in ways that are deceptively reminiscent of the joints (elbow, wrist) in a forelimb!

    But I'm inexperienced enough in anatomy that it would be well not to trust my judgment!


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