An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Mystery Photo – Not for the Squeamish

11-5-14  mystery photo151Roadkills are sometimes worth backing up for! All guesses welcome – the subject of this mystery photo will be revealed tomorrow.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

50 responses

  1. teachdad46

    A whole, as-yet undigested chicken inside the gut of a greedy, dead coyote?

    November 6, 2014 at 1:01 pm

  2. Bill On The Hill...

    Looks like a woodchuck turned inside out… or possibly my ex… :~)

    November 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm

  3. Bill On The Hill...

    On 2nd thought, a young woodchuck inside the gut of a very dead coyote…

    November 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm

  4. Kit Hood

    A BABY BEAVER? In the womb?

    November 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm

  5. Sue

    Hi Mary; Kind of looks like a muskrat.

    Sue Wetmore

    Sent from my iPod


    November 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  6. Mimi

    Those look like tiny mouse feet hanging down so it could be several animals that were eaten.

    November 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm

  7. Sarah T McArdle

    Intestines of a fox killed on the road. The fox had just eaten someone’s chicken …

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 6, 2014 at 1:19 pm

  8. Eewww! Yes, that is gross! But…is that a small mammal of some kind, like a baby muskrat inside the gut of another mammal, like a coyote or fox? OR… maybe it’s inside the crop of an owl?! That grayish fur could be feathers…. Animal forensics…I love it!

    November 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

  9. opossum ? baby inside? Or mouse feet, but the head looks like a bird. Weird.

    November 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm

  10. Chrystal

    I think its a muskrat…a whole muskrat, swallowed by a coyote?

    November 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  11. Angella

    Could it be a muskrat in the belly of a bobcat? Fascinating!

    Angella Gibbons, Director EarthWalk Vermont PO Box 21 Plainfield, VT 05667 802-454-8500 “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” -Rumi

    November 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  12. Roseanne Saalfield

    Beaver mom giving birth. KIlled while delivering? How very sad, how fascinating a photo. If you hadnt told us about the road kill we all would have asked the obvious : so Mary how did you get this photo? Looking forward, very, to your upcoming Harvard talk, Roseanne

    November 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

  13. teachdad46

    From: Christopher Mayer Subject: Re: [New post] Mystery Photo – Not for the Squeamish Date: November 6, 2014 at 8:00:53 AM EST To: Mary Holland

    Ok. I have it! I was puzzled for a while but here it is: working from the inside out you have: 1. a whole mouse-chicken (the ever elusive cross breed between a large field mouse and a small hen) as evidenced by the beak and the five toed feet 2. nestled in a four pound tuna steak 3. and wrapped in some trick-or-treaters’ lost wolf costume. You sure find some weird shit on the roads around here, Mary.

    November 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm

  14. Eww

    November 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  15. Tom Stearns

    Pregnant momma beaver?

    Tom Stearns
    High Mowing Organic Seeds
    802-472-6174 ext. 114 desk
    802-224-6301 cell

    November 6, 2014 at 1:54 pm

  16. I think those are feathers. So my guess is it is a mouse inside an owl. It was on it’s way to becoming a pellet when the accident happened. Wish we had some scale here. How about a penny? Or do you want to keep it as much of a mystery as possible? i sure is fun reading the guesses.

    November 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  17. Andrea

    A poor sweet muskrat

    November 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  18. George

    Muskrat in coyote’s stomach.

    November 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm

  19. Connie Youngstrom

    Rodents in the stomach of a roadkilled owl???

    November 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

  20. Alexander, Laura

    My guess is a shrew that has been eaten by a coyote.

    Laura A. Alexander, Ph. D.
    Associate Professor and Chair
    Environmental Studies
    541 Main Street
    New London, NH 03257
    t: 603.526.3006
    f: 603.526.3429


    November 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm

  21. Susan Greenberg

    shrew/mouse (in feces) in owl? Dean


    November 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • Dareth

      That was going to be my guess too – a rodent in the feces of an owl or hawk. The larger animal really looks like it has feathers. There appear to be other small animal parts – maybe the beaks of small birds, also in the feces.

      November 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm

  22. Jennifer Sawyer

    A baby “something”… Sigh…

    Sent from my iPad


    November 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

  23. Young avian (beak) in the gut of a long-furred-canine-like mammal.

    November 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm

  24. Steve Adams

    I am not so easily fooled young lady. No, that is no roadkill. That is clearly, to my trained naturalists’ eye, the perfectly healthy birth canal of some kind of a mama rat-type creature, out of which is emerging a delightful rat-type child with those adorable little tiny pink feet which, once they hit the soft, piney-scented woodsy floor, will send the happy youngster scampering off into the forest to enjoy the pleasures of life.

    November 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    • I’m very flattered by your use of “young lady!”

      November 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm

  25. onthelandttor

    Vole in the belly of a grey fox

    November 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

  26. Looks like a road killed predator (coyote or fox?) had eaten a rodent (I’m guessing a vole).

    November 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

  27. Ruth

    Well. I think whatever it is ate a small rodent. Could it be a fox ?

    November 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm

  28. Mickey Derham

    Beaver inside predator (?)

    November 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

  29. Nicky603

    A mouse inside a coyote belly

    November 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

  30. Elliot

    Woodchuck in side a coyote

    November 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm

  31. Dead possum baby inside mother’s pouch?

    November 6, 2014 at 5:21 pm

  32. Danielle Barshak

    Looks to me like the ass end of a coyote, killed mid-poop. I’ll bet you will get many other doozies of guesses. Love your blog! Danielle barshak

    Sent from my iPhone


    November 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm

  33. Mimsy

    Eesh…I’d say a vole, swallowed whole and now engaged in a bolus of fur & plant matter that’s somehow squished out of this gray-haired mammal . . . coyote? (are those well-worn teeth at the top?),

    November 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm

  34. Jon Binhammer

    Using the fur for scale, I’d say a muskrat is too large. It’s definitely a rodent, because of the yellow teeth, so maybe it is a vole, because it has a blunt-ish nose, along with other fur and plant material (berries and berry stems?) inside the stomach of a coyote?

    November 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

  35. Jean Harrison

    baby muskrat in an egret?

    November 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

  36. I am guessing it is a vole that was eaten by a coyote, then the vole was killed again with the coyote by what I call a ‘missile on 4 wheels’

    November 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm

  37. chuck eaton

    it’s a muskrat nose, teeth and fur, probably turned inside out by a semi.

    November 6, 2014 at 9:34 pm

  38. Marilyn

    Now that IS unusual! (I saw the answer before I got a chance to leave my way-off comment.)

    November 6, 2014 at 10:07 pm

  39. sandra miller

    is it the inside of your knee?

    November 6, 2014 at 10:16 pm

  40. Nan Childs

    I think the rodent is a meadow vole and it was found inside the stomach of an owl, not quite digested… So the owl died on a full stomach….

    November 6, 2014 at 11:10 pm

  41. Patty

    A rodent inside the esophagus of a beheaded coyote???

    November 7, 2014 at 1:04 am

  42. Meredith Wade

    Fox or coyote stomach contents? Looks like it ate a muskrat? I see the teeth and a bit of face, then the feet, but the feet look a bit small?
    Very interesting! Looking forward to details.

    November 7, 2014 at 2:17 am

  43. Sally

    Little rodent feet, with baby beaver teeth and and nose embedded in some orifice of a hairy animal, maybe coyote. Some of the above comments remind me of a turducken.

    November 7, 2014 at 3:43 am

    • You’ve introduced me to a new delicacy!

      November 7, 2014 at 1:35 pm


    Did somebody eat a beaver? Or was a beaver giving birth and a coyote ate it? I see some silvery type hair on the outer edges of perhaps another animal?

    November 7, 2014 at 11:37 am

  45. Loretta Knight

    Brown bat inside an owl.

    November 8, 2014 at 12:40 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s