With sharp fangs, saggy skin and a whip-like tail, a mysterious mummified animal discovered in Turkey has left experts baffled.
The bizarre predator was discovered in an old cellar and it remains to be identified by natural history experts in the country.
Archaeologists have theorised the animal may be prehistoric, while others believe it could be some kind of cat, based on its mighty incisors.
Dr Lidija McKnight, an Egyptologist and expert in animal mummies at the University of Manchester told MailOnline: ‘It looks like one of the naturally mummified cats we find in Britain -bricked up in chimneys – for example.
‘The tarsel/carpel bones look long which is diagnostic of feline species.’
The strange mummy is said to measure 3ft (one metre) long from its nose to the tip of its tail.
Dr McKnight said: ‘One metre is quite long, but if it’s a species of wild cat for example, they can be much larger than domesticates.
‘The teeth are a bit weird, but if the soft tissues have record through the desiccation process, they may just look more pronounced.’
The rigid creature was recovered from a solid rock basement beneath the home of locksmith Abudllah Ozturk, from Niğde, which lies in the central Anatolia region of the country.
He has since put the remains on display in the window of his shop, after experts failed to identify the animal.
He told local media: ‘I called two archaeologist friends who came and examined the skeleton.
‘They told me that it belongs to a very old species which is probably extinct but they couldn’t identify it and they didn’t know which species it belonged to.’
Dr Aydin Topcu, Natural History professor at Niğde University, said: ‘We are examining pictures of the skeleton and it seems to be a carnivore.
‘But we need more time conduct further tests.
‘After the examinations we will be able to tell what species it belongs to and of which period of time it is.’
But creature’s skull and the history of the area suggests it s likely a cat.
This is because there is a history of cats being mummified – as well as children – in Anatolia between the 10th and 13th centuries.
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