Tetrapod Zoology

A lurking humanoid, in the woods

This could be an opportunity to say something really smart and interesting, or it could be an excuse for silliness.


I leave you, my wise readers, to decide…

UPDATE: for those struggling to interpret the sloths, the image below should help. A shot of the sloths just a few moments later is shown on the right. These are Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth Choloepus didactylus: in my opinion, three-toed sloths (Bradypus) look freakier because of their short snouts.


For previous Tet Zoo pieces on sloths, see…


  1. #1 Susan Ferguson
    June 26, 2010

    It looks like a photoshopped image of a sloth with it’s legs repositioned. Unless that’s the intention, I dunno. The background looks like Stanley Park here in Vancouver BC Canada. Last time I checked, there were no sightings of large humanoid creatures there, unless hairy, shirtless guys count.

  2. #2 Vivian
    June 26, 2010

    You gave it boobs!

  3. #3 Stacy L Mason
    June 26, 2010

    Well, it can’t be a certain cryptid because the big hairy omnivore niche in redwood country is filled by bears and lumberjacks.

    Thanks suze, now I can’t unsee the sloth face on its back.

    Maybe its a female version of Gossamer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossamer_(Looney_Tunes) .

  4. #4 Brett Booth
    June 26, 2010

    Sort of looks like an infant on the front… And it appears to be wearing pants under the fur… Oh, it seems to be missing some fingers, digits, claws. But is it’s hair is sure pertty.

  5. #5 john S. Wilkins
    June 26, 2010

    Where did you get a photo of my back? Are you stalking me?

  6. #6 Sebastian Marquez
    June 26, 2010

    It’s the finest shot yet of an Acephalotherium sasquatch…uh…oides. Ted Turner has a prize for you. Meh, my latin is terrible, where’s David ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. #7 jwbjerk
    June 26, 2010

    Kinda obviously photoshoped.

    My guess is that it’s a sloth, or maybe two sloths.

  8. #8 Cale
    June 26, 2010

    the ‘Breasts’ are just the head and upper body of a clinging baby sloth. I still can’t find the adult head though. I’m guessing the original model had her head up between her arms when photographed.

  9. #9 Evan
    June 26, 2010

    100% photoshopped… there is poor masking around the legs (see the slight white pixel halo?) and someone tried to dodge the legs a little bit for some reason…and it’s obviously a 2 dimensional foreground element composited onto the redwood forest. It almost looks like someone drew a shape, and used that shape as a mask on top of a sloth photograph. And it looks like a baby sloth on the mother’s back…there might even be an emboss blending option used to try to give it a more 3-dimensional feel, although it actually just flattens it more. The light on the sloth is also not coming from the same direction as the very diffused light on the forest. If you look at the highlights on the fur, the light is coming from the lower right of the sloth, which is incorrect for the overcast diffused sunlight that would be coming from above. It would have been more successful if it was masked in with a softer/feathered brush, and if it was carefully color corrected, burned and dodged to match the lighting from the surrounding environment. Also, it’s always good to add a layer of noise or grain on everything to help tie it all together. Nice try. ๐Ÿ˜›

  10. #10 Boesse
    June 26, 2010

    “Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.”

    No but seriously – that’s somewhere in California, most likely Humboldt County (specifically, most likely at Redwood National Park). Although I *guess* it could be Muir Woods or Big Basin, but still. There’s nothing in California that looks like that, except for my uncle.

  11. #11 David Marjanoviฤ‡
    June 26, 2010

    Meh, my latin is terrible, where’s David ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s all Greek, and it’s fine as far as I can tell. I don’t actually know Greek, though.

  12. #12 jon D
    June 26, 2010

    One never needs an excuse for silliness

  13. #13 Darren Naish
    June 26, 2010

    Ha ha – thank you everyone for your splendid comments. I’m going to try and change the direction of things now by bringing attention to the fact that the (very badly) photo-shopped image was not a real attempt at trickery or forgery. Rather, I produced it in order to bring attention to the weird proportions of sloths. The sloth (actually, there’s a mother and baby, as many of you noted) was NOT manipulated – she was hanging by her feet and I just flipped the image 180 degrees.

  14. #14 Dave Godfrey
    June 26, 2010

    Its quite clearly a Heffalump. Its not an arm, its a snout for getting to the bottom of honey-pots.

  15. #15 Duane
    June 27, 2010

    East German Olympic Women swim team reunion in Santa Cruz?

  16. #16 Sean Craven
    June 27, 2010

    This is a colorized still from an early film version of The Wizard of Oz. It’s the part right before Toto (shown here, as played by Lon Chaney Sr.) meets the Cowardly Lion.

  17. #17 Brad McFeeters
    June 27, 2010

    I’m still confused, which is the head of each sloth?

  18. #18 Hai~Ren
    June 27, 2010

    Going off-topic to request help from Darren and other Tet Zoo folks to identify a carcass that washed up on a beach in Singapore.


    The person who took the photos demonstrates some of the major mistakes where it comes to documenting these carcasses – no close-ups of any unique identifying features such as fins, flippers or tail flukes, no shots from multiple angles, and worst, no measurements, no estimate of size, and nothing to show a sense of scale at all!

    I suspect it’s either Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) or finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides), but I hope someone more familiar with the anatomy of these species can give a more informed guess. These are the only 2 inshore small cetacean species here in Singapore that lack a beak; the Indopacific humpbacked dolphin (Sousa chinensis is more commonly seen but has a very distinct beak). Based on the presence of tiny tooth sockets at the front of the lower jaw, I doubt that it’s a dugong.

    It seems that no effort was made to contact the authorities or at least get the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research to come collect the carcass, so the fate of the carcass is currently unknown.

  19. #19 Cale
    June 28, 2010

    Oh NOW I see it… the adult sloth’s head would be where Bigfoot’s ass is.

  20. #20 Cale
    June 28, 2010

    Wait, no, you said hanging by its ‘feet’. So where’s the bloody head? It’s bothering me.

  21. #21 Christopher Taylor
    June 28, 2010

    Its head is where it’s supposed to be. The sloth is facing away from you so you’re looking at the back of its head.

  22. #22 Darren Naish
    June 28, 2010

    I’ve added a new image to help those struggling to interpret things, hope it helps. Chris is right.

  23. #23 Darren Naish
    June 28, 2010

    Hai-Ren (comment 18): I don’t think it’s possible to say what it is, based on the evidence to hand. With a bit of imagination, I can make out 13 alveoli in the shallow dentary, but we can’t see the posterior part of the dentary and more alveoli are almost certainly present. Orcaella has 12-19 teeth per dentary, and Neophocaena has 14-21. While I don’t have images of Neophocaena jaws, I note that other phocoenids have particularly small alveoli – far smaller than those on the Singapore carcass. I therefore think that finless porpoises (and other porpoises) can be ruled out and that Orcaella is the most likely identity.

  24. #24 Jerzy
    June 28, 2010

    Her lifestyle destroyed by climate change and improving hygiene in Latin America, female sloth and her baby are forced to wander long distances in search of the next open latrine pit.

  25. #25 Darren Naish
    June 28, 2010

    Nice work, hilarious!

  26. #26 Hai~Ren
    June 28, 2010

    Hi Darren, I agree that this is more likely to be Orcaella; I’ve looked at photos of Phocaena skulls, and yes, porpoises do seem to have much tinier alveoli in their dentaries. Thanks!

  27. #27 Ronan Coghlan
    June 30, 2010

    That is a photograph of my Aunt Lucinda before her morning shave.

  28. #28 Rory
    July 6, 2010

    Has anyone heard about the 3 toed sloth killed and partially eaten by the tiny spectacled owl? (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

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