Over the years we have found some surprising things in our backyard here in New York State. We have seen deer, fox, rabbits and coyote cut through to get to where they are going. We even have birds nesting in the same tree every year. Yesterday we spotted something completely different.

Take a look at the pictures below to see if you can help us identify our Capital Region findings. All we know for sure is that these are the remains of some animal but how did it get to our Niskayuna, NY backyard? What is exactly it?

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Examine the pictures closely. One photo just appears to be the the pelt of an animal. It's the other 2 pictures that have much of the evidence. I see teeth, bone and perhaps claws or talons?

It appears to me that, whatever this animal was, this guy lost a fight for its life. This doesn't appear to simply be the decomposition of a sick animal. This has the look of an animal that was captured, killed and perhaps eaten. Arrows point out its teeth.

518 news, animal bones, Niskayuna New York
Lainie Rae

Based on the shape of the teeth and the color of the fur I am leaning toward this being a raccoon or an opossum. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) offers information on a site called Skull Science.

What has me confused however are these talon looking pieces. Are they claws, talons of are they canine teeth. Take a look the the next photographs. I have these items circled. What do you think this is?

518 news, animal bones, Niskayuna New York
Lainie Rae

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