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A little mystery in the garden... What is it?

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posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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Hey there people of ATS... I need your help!

First, a little background:

My grand-aunt, who's in her 80's, found what she called "a strange creature" in her back garden earlier this week.

It interested her so much that she took a photo of it on her mobile phone (it still makes me chuckle that she has one) and proceeded to text it to everyone in the family in the hope of identifying it.

Her Description:

She confirms:

- It had tentacles/feelers
- It had feathers
- The feathers and the body were attached

Being old and relatively "unflappable", it didn't dawn on her to preserve it in anyway. She simply left it where it was, returning later to discover it was dead and "shriveled".

Here's the photo... unfortunately it's not that great quality. Her mobile is one of those bulky flip phones and is probably 10+ years old:



Thoughts:

Looking at the photo, it appears to be a slug of some sort (confirmed by the shriveling post mortem), with a bunch of feathers by the side, yeah? However:

- She was adamant that the feathers were attached to the body. Of course, she may have been mistaken.

- The colouring of the feathers don't look like anything I've seen here in South Wales before.

- The surface of the creature looks quite "robust" for a slug.

Of course, it may be nothing more than a slug that's managed to attract some feathers that have blown off next door's feather duster... but I must admit this has piqued my interest. Looking at this photo has sparked a really vague memory of seeing something (or reading about something) very similar before.

What say you ATS? Can anyone help me solve a little mystery for an 80 odd year old woman?




posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 08:41 AM
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interesting picture....

It could have smaller feathers stuck to it some how, and be some kind of slug.

But interesting, and well communicated, nonetheless.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 08:47 AM
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EEEE!! wow what is that?! Could it have been a slug that was being eaten by one of those hairy caterpillars? The coloring looks kinda like those but your pic looks more feathery to be sure.
edit on 1-10-2015 by Starcrossd because: added word



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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After coming across a hummingbird moth once, I'm not easily shocked by things I see in the garden anymore but dang - THAT is weird.

I've never seen a dark slug before IRL, ours are grayish, pale things. The feathers certainly seem artificial in their coloring. No idea whatsoever.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 09:01 AM
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a believe thats called a moth caterpillar, which are venomous. i would be careful if anyone has touched or handled it in anyway.

heres an example found if you google "moth caterpillar"




posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: kosmicjack

I just Googled "Hummingbird moth".... and WOW! I never knew those guys existed!



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: CallmeRaskolnikov

Cheers for this suggestion


I'm not convinced they're the same thing, purely because of the feather plume. But who knows... they're both very bizarre and quite similar, so you could be right!

Thanks CallmeRaskolnikov, I really appreciate your contribution



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: Starcrossd

That's what I was thinking!

I vaguely remember watching a documentary where a parasite-type bug hatched inside an animal and burst out of the carcass in a sort of feathery display... it's reminding me of that.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 09:41 AM
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a reply to: lizziejayne

As did I!We have them here,in Northern Germany and I didn't even know what they were.

Must be a recent addition because I've never seen one here before and I've lived here for the last 26 years.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 10:06 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
After coming across a hummingbird moth once, I'm not easily shocked by things I see in the garden anymore but dang - THAT is weird.

I've never seen a dark slug before IRL, ours are grayish, pale things. The feathers certainly seem artificial in their coloring. No idea whatsoever.


My first hummingbird moth hit me the same way, when I first saw one last year.

THIS slug with feathers makes no sense since there is no apparent wing appendages on the creature. I would say it slithered through a bird's nest and picked up a few feathers on it's back.
edit on 1-10-2015 by IAMTAT because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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a reply to: lizziejayne

there are a number of different kinds of moth caterpillars. the picture i posted was just an example of one variety. i didn't mean to suggest it was that exact one. and they are prevalent in wales. these types of caterpillars also "molt" before they go into a cocoon so they lose their feathers naturally.

you can tell it's not a slug because of the multiple feet on the bottom of the critter as slugs dont have any feet. i would say it's definitely some variety of caterpillar. we have them here where i live, just not the feathered variety.
edit on 1-10-2015 by CallmeRaskolnikov because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: CallmeRaskolnikov

Wow, I hadn't noticed the feet until you just pointed them out!

Very interesting... I take back my last post. You could be onto something CallmeRaskolnikov



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 03:02 PM
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It reminds me of a Tussock Moth. There are different species, google images.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: misskat1

Man, that's freaky!

I've been googling moths most of the afternoon and I've been genuinely surprised to see such diversity. It's been interesting.

Talking of which, this Puss Moth Caterpillar looks like Donald Trump's hair, lol.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 03:35 PM
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originally posted by: lizziejayne
a reply to: misskat1

Man, that's freaky!

I've been googling moths most of the afternoon and I've been genuinely surprised to see such diversity. It's been interesting.

Talking of which, this Puss Moth Caterpillar looks like Donald Trump's hair, lol.


hahaha, i think that IS donald trumps hair! so many freaky caterpillars it's crazy



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: lizziejayne

It's a slug with feathers stuck on its rear.

The protuberances on its head are too thick to be antennas - they are little stalked eyes. I can see its sensory tentacles, exclusive to slugs and snails.

The little thing was probably disguising for Halloween...



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: lizziejayne

That's just freaky. I'd expect to find something like that in the amazon and be painfully poisonous.

Here's a critter you'll find common in my neck of the desert. The Wind Scorpion.



Yeah they bite real good.



posted on Oct, 1 2015 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: dezertdog

That looks similar to the potato bug, they are soooooo creepy, they live in the dirt and when you find them they are mushy. It could be in the same family of insects. Nasty ugly bugs



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:26 AM
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originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: dezertdog

That looks similar to the potato bug, they are soooooo creepy, they live in the dirt and when you find them they are mushy. It could be in the same family of insects. Nasty ugly bugs


No doubt creepy as hell! My biology teacher in high school matched a potato bug with a tarantula, that potato bug decimated the tarantula in less than a minute!



posted on Oct, 2 2015 @ 08:33 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: lizziejayne

It's a slug with feathers stuck on its rear.

The protuberances on its head are too thick to be antennas - they are little stalked eyes. I can see its sensory tentacles, exclusive to slugs and snails.

The little thing was probably disguising for Halloween...


slugs dont have feet, let alone multiple feet. unless those was part of the Halloween disguise as well..lol




originally posted by: misskat1
a reply to: dezertdog

That looks similar to the potato bug, they are soooooo creepy, they live in the dirt and when you find them they are mushy. It could be in the same family of insects. Nasty ugly bugs


and misskat/dezertdog why the hell did you have to post that nightmare fuel of an insect, we already have one creepy ass unidentified bug in this thread, we don't need to add tarantula murdering super ants to the mix. haha
edit on 2-10-2015 by CallmeRaskolnikov because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-10-2015 by CallmeRaskolnikov because: (no reason given)



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