A story put forward in November (and posted to our Facebook page) is recirculating again via dubious sensationalist media reports.
Is this a dinosaur? Remains of T-rex-like ‘animal’ found in Uttarakhand’s Jaspur (Dated November 17, 2017.)
It’s now appearing in India Times. Same story, same carcass.
An electrician from Uttarakhand found a dinosaur-like creature’s corpse with attached flesh and it’s freaking us out!
It was found in the Jaspur city of Uttarakhand, by an electrician cleaning out an abandoned sub-station.
The Hindustan Times reported back in November that the animal was pretty small.
The hind legs of the discovered figure measure around 29cm and the tail is around 5cm long. The authorities have decided to send the remains to Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for further investigation.
They also called it a fossil, which it wasn’t. It’s long dead but not THAT long dead. Fossilization is when the remains are mineralized. This is clearly NOT a fossil but just a dried out, decayed carcass of an animal that was alive a few months or years ago. Here it is in a bag after it was collected.
This is a mammal – you can tell by its mammalian skeleton – obvious to those who know animals just a little bit. Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago and left only a lineage of birds to carry on. There is no possibility this is a dinosaur. It’s a ridiculous suggestion meant to get clicks. However, it’s certainly possible that the locals didn’t recognize this decayed version of a local animal. But, no, scientists are NOT baffled, that would only be you, ignorant and lazy reporters. It often takes just a brief glance from zoologists or wildlife biologists to get pretty close to calling the true origin of a “mysterious” critter. Exact species I.D. is much harder and examination of the carcass or far more detailed visuals would be needed for that.
This is another example of a common ploy by tabloid-style news outlets to promote a carcass as something mysterious by exploiting the public lack of knowledge about animals and to play up some weird features of the dead body. The animal carcass has dried out and partially disintegrated, leaving only remnants of skin, muscles, and the bones. This animal is likely a marten (mustelids) or a mongoose, both common to the area.
In the last podcast, we discussed how dinosaurs were depicted as “shrink wrapped”. Yeah, well, this is why people thought this looked like a dinosaur, because of that typical non-lifelike depiction.
Thanks to Penelope C. and the Tetrapod Zoology Facebook group for info.