mystery DOR in Fujian Province

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Kevin Messenger
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mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Kevin Messenger » May 22nd, 2014, 1:36 am

Wondering if anyone can give some thoughts on this critter.

Found this DOR in Wuishan Mountains today (Fujian Province, China). At first glance, I thought it was just an earthworm:
Imagemystery DOR by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

but ran my finger along it, and realized it has scales (very very rough scales)

Imagemystery DOR by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Imagemystery DOR by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

Imagemystery DOR by Kevin Messenger, on Flickr

No obvious head or tail (both mashed or missing). No limbs.

Once realizing it was not an earthworm, second guess was the tail of Acanthosaura or Calotes as these are the only rough scaled species of lizards in the area. But A) neither lizard has segmented scales like this, and B) it is way too large to be just the tail, and C) see how it stays consistent girth in the 3rd pic - that's not very typical of a tail. That's more typical of body.

So after realizing it wasn't a tail, then I thought, perhaps a partial body of Ophisaurus harti - but Ophisaurus has smooth scales. Plus it's not annulated either....

so.... does anyone have any thoughts?

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » May 22nd, 2014, 3:30 am

Mammal tail?

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Dr. Dark
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Dr. Dark » May 22nd, 2014, 4:44 am

Kinda looks like a rat or possum tail?

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VanAR
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by VanAR » May 22nd, 2014, 5:48 am

Does China have any Amphisbaenians? That would be my guess. A rodent tail would look similar, but it wouldn't be scaly/rough.

Van

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Kevin Messenger » May 22nd, 2014, 7:01 am

Interesting thought on the mammal tail. But a couple of things - A) there would be a lot more body - unless the tail got lopped off. But also there's no hair. Granted I guess those suggesting a tail are thinking the hair has fallen off by now.

No, there are no Amphisbaenians, which was my first thought.

the mammal avenue intrigues me. I don't think it is the case, but I'm not discounting it.

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Andy Avram
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Andy Avram » May 22nd, 2014, 7:22 am

For the record, I don't think it is a mammal tail, but did you happen to notice if it had guts at all? Tails don't have guts.

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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by yoloherper » May 22nd, 2014, 9:41 am

Amphisbaenidae was my first thought, but if they don't occur in the area, I'll jump on the mammal tail bandwagon. Not sure what species are near you, but that looks pretty similar to a large rat tail, or if you were in the states i'd say opossum. Both have scaly tails with very little hair that I assume would decompose fairly quickly.
For the record, I don't think it is a mammal tail, but did you happen to notice if it had guts at all? Tails don't have guts.
This is a really good point though
-Elliot

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TravisK
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by TravisK » May 22nd, 2014, 11:29 am

First Guess: mammal
Second Guess: Lizard, but I that isn't likely.

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M Wolverton
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by M Wolverton » May 22nd, 2014, 4:07 pm

It appears to have guts, but I am not seeing any bones.

I am just going to guess it is a worm of some type.

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Rich in Reptiles » May 22nd, 2014, 5:00 pm

My first thought was also Amphisbaenian. At least something fossorial. Too rough to be a caecilian. Had it just rained? Did you get any DNA or anything?

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Andy Avram
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Andy Avram » May 22nd, 2014, 5:35 pm

There have been a couple comments on the hairlessness of the tail (provided it is mammalian). Hair is incredibly durable and if the hair decomposed then the rest of it would have been decomposed. Thing of a long rotted dead animal you may have seen. All the is usually left is hair and bones, maybe a little skin. If Kevin's find ever had hair it would still be visible.

Andy

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Kevin Messenger » May 24th, 2014, 9:18 pm

hey everyone... so I'm thinking the mammal tail is the right path. I think it's basically a mammal tail that got degloved (by a vehicle tire) and tossed some distance from the rest of the body. That would account for why I didn't find a larger body.

The inside of the "DOR" lacks organs or bones, which makes me think more along the lines of a degloving.

I did find like 2 hairs on the "body." so that part is weird. I would have expected more. But all of the other evidence points to mammal tail (lack of organs or bones)

sorry for the potential excitement. I was really hoping for amphisbaenid when I first saw it...

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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by TravisK » June 15th, 2014, 9:16 pm

I am still curious as to what mammal species this tail most likely came from, any ideas?

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Kevin Messenger
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Re: mystery DOR in Fujian Province

Post by Kevin Messenger » June 17th, 2014, 9:20 am

there are plenty of large rats here. But it wouldn't surprise me if there's a rodentia here that I've never even heard of. My guess was rat

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