Local UK news quick to call boffins baffled by bones

Uh, oh. Skeleton. “Experts” “baffled”. It sure doesn’t take much.

Body of unknown animal found near Worthing baffles experts – Worthing Herald.

Jodie Salmon, 23, of Collingwood Road, Goring, was walking her dog near Chanctonbury Ring on Thursday, when she made the grizzly discovery.

She said: “At first, I thought it was a snake, but when I looked closer, I thought it could be a big cat.

“I would love it if it was a big cat, but I am not sure what it is.”

The Herald has approached three wildlife experts, who have yet to confirm the mystery beast’s identity.

Worthing mystery animal

They can’t tell because it’s a crappy picture without enough details. Yet, they spin it as “baffled”. Lame. There is no indication that she took the skeleton. So we get step two: mystery mongering. Is it a big cat? There is no scale, just a guess at the size. Obviously the skull would be diagnostic if presented to someone who actually could identify it. The odds that it is something weird are low and we should assume it’s a normal creature. Maybe a dog that was hit by a car? No, that wouldn’t be exciting news, though. Boo on media that pull these stunts.

  2 comments for “Local UK news quick to call boffins baffled by bones

  1. October 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    What could one expect from a paper that publishes the phrase, “a grizzly discovery”?

  2. December 22, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    It is funny, how archeologists can identify a hominid from one tooth, but somehow it’s impossible to identify an entire skeleton from a suburb.

    Here is a hint: take a picture and send it to your local university. I got in an argument once with someone about a bone someone had on display, and the university identified it in about 10 minutes. They are good with plants too. Unfortunately the bone in question happened to turn out to be *human* which caused problems. I can’t believe “3 experts” would be baffled.

    In this case, I think the big question is why the skeleton is lying nicely on top of grass. In a week or less, the grass would be covering the bones, so clearly someone laid it out nicely on display. Nor can I see how it would be 5 or 6 feet long, if the grass there is about the same size as the grass here. The fact it is so nicely positioned points to hoax, methinks! Bones don’t just sit and bleach themselves on top of grass. If an animal eats the flesh, the bones are scattered. If they age naturally, the grass grows over them and some flesh remains.

    On the other hand, given the press about “bat boy” etc. it’s probably not surprising.

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