The Newtown Pentacle

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Enduring mystery, thy name is Newtown.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, one attended several shoreline cleanup gatherings along the infamous Newtown Creek on Saturday, and the last one found me at the Meeker Avenue Street End in Greenpoint at the site of the former Penny Bridge crossing. There was lots of shoveling and digging going on as there’s about 80-90 years of illegal dumping and junk to be explored and excavated thereabouts.

Something curious was found in one of the middens of garbage.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A fragment of an animal skull came out on the end of some fellow’s shovel. Unfamiliar to me, as I’m a city boy, the general consensus at the site was that this very well might be the upper jaw of a goat. It was definitely an herbivore, whatever this critter was, as evinced by the molar dentition’s setup for grinding.

The problem with the goat thing is that goats are only supposed to have six molars, and this one has seven. Also, North Brooklyn ain’t exactly lousy with feral goats.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Additionally, there were sockets for front teeth in the fragment, which goats aren’t meant to have either. Anybody reading this who might be of the Veterinarian bent who might want to jump in and identify this critter?

If so, use the comments panel below to share your smarts with the rest of us. If not, I’ll add it to the list of anomalous Newtown Creek factoids maintained back here at HQ.


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Written by Mitch Waxman

May 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. Hi Mitch,
    I think it probably is a goat or a sheep mandible. Could be a young cow. It’s hard to tell size from the pic. Ruminants DO have incisors (front teeth), but only in the lower jaw, which I think is what you are looking at. Probably the lower, left side. I only count 6 teeth. You wouldn’t be able to see any sockets for the front teeth in this fragment, since they are separated from the molars by a long stretch of empty bone. Ruminants are weird, and possibly evil.

    Fiesta Cranberry

    May 8, 2018 at 4:57 pm


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