The largest of the three longnose skates, found on Island View beach. (Submission)

New photos help identify mystery creature found on Peninsula beach

Photos have emerged of the creature when it was first washed ashore

In late May, a Peninsula resident found the remains of a mysterious creature that had washed ashore, looking unlike any familiar animal. Today photos have emerged that appear to put an end to the mystery.

The creature was discovered on Island View Beach by Nathan Eyre and April Hollihan, who were out for a walk. The carcass was too badly decomposed to identify easily, but had a number of unusual looking features. It had skin that resembled a dolphin’s, had a snout that looked like a crocodile’s and appeared to have teeth or sharp hooks running down its long tail.

ALSO READ: Mysterious sea creature washes ashore at Island View Beach in Central Saanich

Theories ranged from a shark, to a rare creature, to even – could it be – the reclusive Cadborosaurus?

Brian Timmer, a biologist in the Juanes Lab at UVic analyzed the photos and thought it was most likely a longnose skate (Raja rhina) or possibly a big skate (Raja binoculata). However, it was difficult to tell as the wings were missing, either chopped up by a fisherman for a tasty meal or eaten by marine scavengers.

Now photos have emerged, taken May 4, of the creature around three weeks before it was found in a decomposed state. There were actually three of them, all washed ashore within a few feet of each other and all missing their wings.

ALSO READ: B.C. group on the hunt for Cadboro Bay sea monster

Thanks to the new photos, Timmer’s original prediction is confirmed as a skate. Timmer had speculated that fishermen might have cut the wings off the animal, as they taste similar to scallops, and then dumped the carcasses overboard. This seems to be a distinct possibility as the new photos show all three animals missing their wings, while the rest of their bodies are otherwise intact.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’

Recent polls show the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding a ‘toss-up’ If any proof were… Continue reading

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

Reynolds Secondary principal pens letter to parents after student involved in fatal crash

Various supports available to students, staff and community

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Vancouver Island man bikes through B.C. Interior for mental health, addiction awareness

Vancouver Island Resident Mat Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Transition Sooke eyes action on climate change

On Sept. 29, Transition Sooke will host a workshop titled: Climate Emergency: What Can We Do?

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Most Read