This article contains pictures of dead animals. please do not scroll down if you are not comfortable viewing pictures of this type.
Periodically, dead animals are found that don't seem to belong to any known species. Usually it is suggested that these might be the carcasses of mysterious, mythical, or cryptozoological animals. The most common suggestion for United States finds is that the creature might be a "Chupacabra" or goat sucker. Others tend to be described generically as 'monsters'.
In most cases either diseases such as mange and/or post-mortem distortions of a known species are the real explanation. While some suggest the that the dog like examples may be Xolos (a naturally hairless breed of do) hair loss due to disease or decomposition is a more likely explanation. Hair loss is common, especially in water, as is the widening of the stomach with the build up of gasses. Some examples are shown below, demonstrating that without their usual hair cover common species look surprisingly unfamiliar.
Texas has become a regular source for "chupacabras" both dead and alive; they seem to be a population of diseased coyotes of wild dogs. In other locations other living candidates for the title of 'chupacabras' seem to be similarly diseased and often hairless wildlife or feral animals.
Ukraine Creature (2012)
Surrounded by the usual unfounded speculation about radiation and scientific experiments, this hairless animal shows a similar effect as for the mange-suffering coyotes discussed below. That is, even a very familiar animal can become unrecognizable without its usual coat of fur. That said the Russia/Ukraine region does have a tradition of belief in,and reports of, chupacabras attacks on livestock. However the authorities deny the existence of any such creature.
Montreal Monster (2011)
Georgetown Chupacabra (2011)
An animal shot by a Frank Gallo in Georgetown was reliably identified as a black juvenile bear that had somehow lost most of its hair. Its poor health might also have explained why it approached human housing and was acting strangely.
The Thai Alien (2010?)
Despite its bizarre appearance this creature was known to be the offspring of a cow. The pictures still caused a stir and a lot of speculation on the internet.However there were no reliable media stories that provide fact checking or confirmation of the information circulating with the pictures. I can only go by what I see.
The condition suffered by the calf is unknown, but its appearance could be produced by combination of cyclopia and post-mortem swelling associated with decomposition. Despite its strange appearance it seems only logical to assume that anything born from a cow, no matter how disfigured... is a calf.
Ontario Montauk Monster (2010)
This body was found in Big Trout Lake by two locals walking their dog. Online speculation paired it with the Montauk Monster, omajinaakoos or the Chupacabra. Physically it resembled a mustelid, perhaps an otter. Hair loss most likely postmortem. The animal was never formally necropsied.
Kentucky Chupacabra (2010)
Texas Chupacabra (2009)
Cerro Azul Monster (2009)
This creature (a.k.a. the Panama E.T. or Blue Hill Monster) is most likely a sloth, common in the area.
The decomposition and posing make this harder to say with certainty. Stories that the monster was first encountered while alive strike me as probably inventions.
Original Montauk Monster (2008)
Found on the shore in coastal New York, this creature was the first to go by the name 'Montauk Monster'.
This creature is most likely a raccoon.The loss of hair and tissue and decomposition makes this difficult to appreciate immediately.
As with many of these creature definitive testing was made impossible when someone made off with the remains, their current location is unknown.
Cuero Chupacabras (2007)
This strange looking hairless carcass was presented as a potential Chupacabra. It had been hitted by a car and killed, and collected by property owner Phylis Canion.
However a less sensational option would be a dog or coyote. The hair loss could be premortem mange, or post-mortem. A later DNA test indicated this specimen was indeed another coyote.
Sideshow Fake (2006)
This chupacabras, on display in a fair sideshow, is a pretty clear handmade fake. I am guessing it was made for pure entertainment value, as very few people would find it convincing.
The Maine Mutant (2006)
This creature led to several reports while alive and was then found dead. Unlike many alleged cryptids it was found in good shape and examined by experts who determined it to be a common domestic dog.
Elmendorf Beast (2004)
Devin McAnally, a rancher, shot and killed this creature. It was identified as a coyote with mange.
One of the recurring themes is that when the creature is an American canid it tend to turn out to be a coyote with mange. Individuals or populations of coyotes with severe mange are seen in many locations. In fact i saw an example myself in a built up area of Vancouver, Canada--it was bald on all parts of its body apart from its tail. The mange is cause by an insect called scabies which burrows under the skin and can infect the animals whole skin area.