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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.

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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

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