Mystery Sea Creature Washes Ashore Canterbury Beach in New Zealand
Mystery sea creature (Photo Credits: Hanna Mary)

Residents living near a beach in New Zealand was shocked to see a mystery animal washed ashore. The skeleton of the strange creature was found at a beach in Canterbury and locals thought it to be an alien. The creature had two legs, wings, teeth and tail. Hanna Mary a resident of Christchurch and her mother were baffled on the sight of the alien's skeleton.

"My first thought was that it was something alien, but I was more fascinated than anything," Hanna told the NZ Herald. They have sent it to a taxidermist to find out about the creature, but the person was equally stunned at seeing the creature. The taxidermist then posted questions about it on Facebook. Many commented on it saying the mystery creature is a skate and indeed it is.

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The report said Dr Malcolm Francis at Niwa identified the creature as a male Dipturus nasutus, aka a New Zealand rough skate. Skates are a type of fish similar to rays. They have cartilage instead of bone and pectoral fins attached to their heads forming a disc-shaped body.

Francis said, "They are called rough skate because they are very prickly ... it's quite common in Canterbury. It's like a flat shark, it has a skeleton made out of cartilage. They spend much of their time on the bottom." He added saying, "You might see them in the fish shops in the South Island. It might have been one that had been caught by a fisherman, thrown overboard and washed ashore." Francis further said that the claws on the wings are called alar spines, which are only on male skates; they use it for mating.