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Rotting skeleton of terrifying mystery sea creature found washed up on New Zealand beach



THE Rotting Skeleton of a mysterious sea creature has been found washed up on a beach in New Zealand.

The creature's strange features have left both terrified and baffled locals and was originally assumed to be an alien.

  A mysterious sea creature has been found on a beach in Canterbury, New Zealand

Credit Facebook / Chris Lynch

A mysterious sea creature has been found on a beach in Canterbury, New Zealand

The bizarre beast appears to have two legs and a tail, sharp fangs and winged claws, in addition to a long point protruding from its head.

It's decaying skeleton horrified Christchurch residents Hanna Mary and her mother who spotted the critter while out on a beach walk in Rakaia Huts, Canterbury.

Speaking to the NZ Herald, Hanna said: "My first thought was that it was something alien, but I was more fascinated than anything."

The pair were initially scared to touch the creature in case it was poisonous but then decided to take it to a taxidermist in the hope that they would clear up the mystery.

  The bizarre beast has two legs and a tail, sharp fangs and winged claws

Credit Facebook / Chris Lynch

The bizarre beast has two legs and a tail, sharp fangs and winged claws
  Its strange features have left both terrified and baffled locals and was originally assumed to be an alien

Credit Facebook / Chris Lynch

Its strange features have left both terrified and baffled locals and was originally assumed to be an alien
  Hanna Mary and her mother spotted the critter while out on a beach walk in Rakaia Huts

Credit Facebook / Chris Lynch

Hanna Mary and her mother spotted the critter while out on a beach walk in Rakaia Huts
  The creature has been identified as a New Zealand rugged skateboarder

Credit Facebook / Chris Lynch

The creature has been identified as a New Zealand rugged skateboarder

But after inspection, the taxidermist was left just as bemused by the creature's origins as they were and Hanna revealed she turned to her family and friends for answers.

"I uploaded the photos on Facebook and we were all taking guesses, most people said skateboarding.

"A few of the guesses were a wee bit absurd because it looks so bizarre."

"My guess is that it's some kind of deep-sea skate, maybe a Bathyraja abyssicola, that could have been picked up by a trawler."

Dr. Malcolm Francis, a scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, identified the creature as a male Dipturus nasutus, aka the New Zealand rough skate.

Dr. Francis revealed that the claws on the wings are called alar spines, which only male skates have to use for mating.

Skates are a type of fish that have cartilage instead of bone as well as enlarged pectoral which are attached to their heads to form their disc-shaped body.

Skates are harmless to humans and unlike stingrays, skates do not have a venomous spine in their tail. But, similar to Rays, their wings are often eaten.


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