I was watching Nosferatu, and this dog-like animal appeared, with very curious stripes. I was wondering if this is clearly a specific animal, and which one it is, or if it's too mixed up and low resolution to tell. You can see in this video, at 11:43 and 12:22 (close up) to 12:33. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH7L4V-3VxA&t=703

Sorry about my lack of a more scientific research, but I couldn't be farther from being a biologist. This is all I got: from the stripes, it immediately brought to my mind a Thylacine (which is what caught my attention), but even though it would not me an anacronism (it was extinct in 1936, the movie is from 1922), the movie is European (filmed in Germany, Slovakia and Romenia) and the story happens in Europe too, so it wouldn't make sense to be a Thylacine (not to mention that in 1922, you wouldn't find them right around the corner ;) ). Further investigation confirmed the already almost obvious, the stripes are too in the front in their body to be a Thylacine. My second thought, from the apparent big head and the way it moves (hips lowered), it resembled a hyena to me. But it doesn't seem to have ears big enough, they also wouldn't make sense in context of the movie, and hyenas usually have spots instead of stripes. A quick search showed me that there are striped hyenas, and from pictures it looks kind of similar, but the snout doesn't seem to match. Also, they don't occur in Europe, according to Wikipedia.

So at this point I'm in doubt if it's a striped hyena (that doesn't seem to make sense to me), another real animal that I don't know, or if it's a fictional creature, some animal "modified" specifically for the movie (painted, extra/less fur, artificial modifications in height, body size, ear size, etc). Although that also doesn't make sense.

Any pointers appreciated, sorry if this should belong in scifi or another SE.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It looks like a natural Hyena to me. But you can look into the possibility of "Wild dogs". $\endgroup$
    – KaPy3141
    Aug 20 '20 at 12:41
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    $\begingroup$ definitely a hyena. MSB they could have footage from other movies or even zoos, recycling footage is a age old practice. Notice it is never seen with anything else in the same shot. likely B-roll. Just look at the second shot where it stands up in profile, very easy to identify. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 22 '20 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ @John Early vampire movies are famous for misplaced wildlife. The 1931 Dracula movie famously depicted a wild armadillo in Transylvania. $\endgroup$ Jan 19 at 4:12

It's a striped hyena, it is relatively rare/endangered these days. Hyenas are closer to cats/felines than to dogs. They are in the suborder Feliformia.


some images here

  • $\begingroup$ Did they occur in Europe in the past? $\endgroup$
    – msb
    Aug 22 '20 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ The range used to be at least up to lebanon and Georgia/Armena, So there's chances that they were in western europe a few thousand years ago. Elephants used to live in egypt, north africa and turkey only until roman times too. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 '20 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ there was a cave hyena in europe until about 8000 years ago. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 '20 at 18:23

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