26 May 2010

Mysterious animal dead on the sidewalk

I photographed this unidentified casualty on the sidewalk during my daily walk today. The image turned out blurry in the fine tradition of cryptozoology.

The small brown object near the lefthand corner was an opportunistic ant partaking of the undoubtedly rare delicacy. But what was the identity of the dead creature itself? Was it a caterpillar? A worm of some sort? Or a mollusk? The lack of shell fragments ruled out a snail, but could it have been a slug? The long greenish appendage, presumably a tentacle, even raised the possibility that this was a heretofore undiscovered terrestrial descendant—the other tentacle being hidden from view underneath the rest of the remains—of, dare I say, Nectocaris pteryx.

Imagine my frustration later in the office when I realized that I had had a container with me and that I could have taken the remains for a thorough investigation. Not wanting to miss my chance at solving this once in a lifetime puzzle, I went back to the spot about an hour later. Luckily, the thing on the sidewalk was still there albeit in a slightly drier state in the blazing sun. I kneeled down and started scooping up the ghastly corpse into the container. And then I immediately knew what it was: a squished mulberry.

The yet to be solved real mystery is the provenance of the fruit, for there was no mulberry tree in the vicinity.

1 comment:

Lisa M. said...

maybe a bird dropped it?