2 February 2015

Brocolli mystery solved? Not frog, nor snake, but a lizard

CBC News, Newfoundland and Labrador

An expert in natural science believes it was the head of a lizard that was discovered in a bag of frozen broccoli earlier this week in western Labrador.

Cassondra Marshall, from Churchill Falls, made the unsettling discovery while eating supper Monday night.

The reptile-like head came from a bag of Green Giant frozen broccoli purchased at Wal-Mart in Labrador City, and ultimately ended up getting steamed and served for supper.

Marshall immediately posted photos of her find on CBC's Facebook page, leaving many to speculate as to what the disembodied head belonged to.

'High point of the meal for me'

Don McAlpine, chair of natural science at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, said after viewing photos  he used a process of elimination to determine that tiny head once belonged to a lizard.

"Frogs tend to have wider heads than that particular head that what was shown to me," McAlpine told CBC's Labrador Morning. "There isn't a pattern of scales on the head, like you'd see on a snake."

At his museum in Saint John, McApline has seen a lot of things; an iguana hiding in a shipping container, interesting insects not native to the region, and exotic spiders.

But never a reptile-head hidden in a bag of frozen vegetables.

"Ideal would be to have the head in hand. Actually, personally, I wouldn't be too concerned if I found a lizard head in my broccoli. It'd probably be the high point of the meal for me."

McAlpine recommends freezing such items until an expert can examine it first hand.