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Mystery Photograph

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 22nd, 2009

Can you name the animal that was photographed to obtain the picture, above and below?

Yes, it is a close-up of the side of a mammal. But, no, there is no trickery as far as my putting a tiny portion of a tiny animal that has been super-enlarged here.

If this animal ran across your path, in front of you, you would definitely notice it.

I’ve just received some good images of this animal, and some are close-ups.

So, as America goes into a holiday weekend, I thought I’d have a little fun with you.

Can you identify this animal?

Yes, there is striping visible in its coat.

Good luck.

(Depending on the answers coming in, I’ll post another clue on Saturday, May 23rd, and the answer on the 24th.)

You may click on the image to increase the viewing size. (There are no identification hints embedded into the image coding.)

Your thoughts and wishes to save the International Cryptozoology Museum are appreciated as you today do…

:-) Thank You.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

60 Responses to “Mystery Photograph”

  1. Alton Higgins responds:

    Striped hyena?

  2. flame821 responds:

    can we have a LITTLE hint. Like what is its native habitat? (North or South America, Africa) something along those lines.



    In case we get no hints; it looks like the fur is kind of shaggy so I’m guessing colder climate. And I’ve seen an inside joke on this thread for a while. So I’ll guess Otter.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    No hints other than the photograph, right now.

    Tell me what you see, and share what you think it might be.

  4. Endroren responds:

    One vote for Brown Bear.

  5. KPeterson responds:

    I think it’s a brindle dog, of the wirehaired variety.

  6. Blue Steel responds:

    Definitely looks like a cold-weather creature – with the thickness of the undercoat. I’d say fox, except for the stripes.

  7. StinkFoot responds:


  8. cryptidsrus responds:

    Either a Dog or some sort of large, rodent-type animal.

  9. maeko responds:

    hmmm…small mammal, straight and smooth guard-hairs, downey undercoat, dun stripeing pattern…

    leaning toward weasel family, or of a similar ilk. something that lives primarily on the ground. it needs to be in good control of its body temp

  10. indyDonna responds:

    raccoon! :)

  11. OneLife2Live responds:

    I’m going to have to go with Alton Higgins, and say Stripped Hyena.

  12. punydevil responds:

    Striped hyena.

  13. RobDev responds:

    My guess is an aardwolf.

  14. strawberrypony responds:


  15. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:


  16. Grymhood responds:

    Red panda?

  17. berno6 responds:

    stripped hyena

  18. Samson77 responds:

    Apparently no one read the second paragraph.
    I’ll go with maine coon kitten

  19. fossilhunter responds:

    Greetings All!
    I’m going for a takin, the critter that “Beast” from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was modeled after. Plus, I’m a Zoo Parent for them at the St. Louis Zoo, so I gotta stick up for my kids! (And the adults!)

  20. jadewhiskey responds:

    Darn – Sampson77 took my answer… Wasn’t fast enough to post – I thought the same thing – Maine Coon Cat

  21. Va-Bigfoot responds:

    Looks like a Shetland Pony’s mane with the photo taken in the early afternoon on an overcast day.

  22. Wiseman responds:

    Mmmmm… A bigfoot with mange :p

    No seriously it’s all a big trap, someone with a scientific mind, that’s hoping to be taken seriously, wouldn’t take a guess with that little evidence. Loren you almost got me.

  23. GCPickle responds:

    Badger ?

  24. ScottAR responds:

    I’m going to guess Pomeranian or Pekinese

  25. Insanity responds:

    My “guess”, not an educated one, would be a domestic dog or cat. Specific breed is uncertain.

  26. Averagefoot responds:

    My initial thought was the same as Samson77’s, and I agree with his guess. However we may be reading to into that statement. I have a few more guesses and they are:

    Cairn terrier (or some other wirey dog)

    Guinea pig


  27. Wutwuzit responds:

    I’ll vote Yak.

  28. coelacanth1938 responds:

    African lion’s mane.

  29. ogopogoman64 responds:

    tasmanian tiger

  30. tropicalwolf responds:

    Leaning toward domestic dog, hamster, ferret or….


    I am pretty sure Loren has a good close-up photo of one and is just holding out on us…

  31. fr33ky responds:

    Dont know why but the fur seems quite feline to me so I’m guessing Lynx or Bobcat.

  32. maslo63 responds:

    My first thought was striped hyena. Seeing all the other hyena responses is reassuring.

  33. Alligator responds:

    The Gator sez:

    Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) aka Golden Marmoset

  34. Caina777 responds:

    Dee Snyder from Twisted Sister.

  35. northeast cryptid responds:

    Looks like a raccoon more than anything else…..only other possibility in my mind would be a coyote….can’t wait to hear the answer…!!!! Happy Memorial day weekend to all…….

  36. fortgeorge responds:

    I think it’s a lynx, I know many are spotted but I have seen some with stripes.

  37. SKM responds:


  38. Kainan responds:


  39. graybear responds:

    Clearly it’s William Shatner’s toupee.

  40. swnoel responds:

    Montauk Monster with hair

  41. waryeti responds:

    striped jackal

  42. archer1945 responds:

    My first thought was a tiger. However having raised numerous cats and dogs over the years I ruled out any member of the cat family because the hair does not lie correctly plus it is the wrong color for a tiger.

    I also noticed Loren’s remark about if it ran across the road in front of you you’d definitely notice it. This rules out any domestic dog or commonly seen animals. Llamas don’t have stripes which rules them out, also llamas have a fairly sort of curly outer layer of hair; if I remember correctly. I also can’t think of any bears which have stripes which pretty much rules them out; though I could be wrong. My best guess would be an aardwolf after checking out pictures of members of the hyena family.

  43. Grasshopper responds:

    It’s a possum says I. Winter coat.

  44. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    Donald Trump

  45. zytebac responds:

    As wooley as it apprears, I would say it comes from the forehead mane of something. And with the unusual color and striping, maybe something domestic. A horse?

  46. kittenz responds:

    Although its difficult to be certain of where this fits into the jigsaw from just this one piece, this looks like the nape of a long-haired tabby cat, viewed from slightly above and behind the animal. The stripes are characteristic of the lengthwise stripes that run from crown to shoulder along the nape of a brown tabby. The cat must be either adult or adolescent because young kittens’ striping is usually more pronounced. It’s probably not a full adult because the guard hairs are not as prominent as those of an adult would be; the fur still has a soft, kittenish texture & appearance. It’s either a longhair like a Persian, or a semi-longhair like a Maine Coon Cat or Turkish Angora. Or a random bred cat from the northern US (the most likely IMO). You want to just press your face into the cat’s fur, right behind its ears herb, to catch the gentle thyme-like fragrance that so few people have experienced.

  47. kittenz responds:

    *right behind its ears here, NOT right behind its ears herb

  48. kittenz responds:

    On second thought, I suppose it could be the south end of a northbound Pekingese. I’m putting my money on cat though.

  49. Samson77 responds:

    Ok now this is bugging me.
    African Wild Cat?

  50. john5 responds:

    The mane of a male Golden Monkey :)

  51. bray_beast responds:

    My first thought was striped hyena, but aardwolf is good too. I have a feeling both are wrong though.

  52. aclockworkorange responds:


    Or something really wacky, like a marine mammal.

  53. dogu4 responds:


  54. kittenz responds:

    ok not a cat. Armadillo ?

  55. fallofrain responds:


  56. Desert Dave responds:

    I’m pretty sure it is not a turkey vulture , wonder if if could be a wolvering or badger that has stepped on a pop top?

  57. Quakerhead responds:

    Joy Behar’s back hair?

  58. Loren Coleman responds:

    Since I didn’t recognize the name, I’ll save everyone the trouble:

    Josephina Victoria “Joy” Behar (née Occhiuto; born October 7, 1943) is an American comedian, writer, actress, and a co-host of the talk show The View.

  59. ctinn responds:

    I think it is a goat. Rough fur like one.

  60. Ulysses responds:

    It looks like the Sasquatch model in the Crypto Museum.

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