Sea monster mystery solved
The skeleton of a sea creature washed up on the Weston-super-Mare beach puzzled people as it looked weird, leading them to think it could be a sea monster.
The mystery was solved by Seaquarium authorities who concluded that the skeleton was of a thornback ray which are a common species found in shallow waters along the coast.
It was found by a couple who were walking their dog along with their children one morning, when they came across the skeleton and took it home for showing it to other people. Their son took it to school to show the others and find what the creature was.
“People have come up with some crazy ideas as to what it could be. My friend even thought it could be a llama, as the long tail bit looks like a neck”, said he.
“I guess with it being washed up on the beach you would expect it to be a fish or something, but it doesn’t look very fishy.”
The seaquarium took interest in the matter and after an examination of the skeleton, concluded that it was a thornback ray.
David McCubbin of Seaquarium Weston said in a statement, “”The thornback ray is also known as the thornback skate and the colour and patterns seen on this ray is often different depending on what part of the world it is found.”
He also added that it gets its name from the sharp thorns they have on the back and tail. Though they could cause injury when touched or stamped on accidentally, they are not poisonous. He added more details about the species saying the teeth of male thornback rays are sharper than those of the females and juveniles. They usually populate the depths of 10 to 60 meters and it is a seasonal migrator and moves to deeper areas during winter.