The depth of the sea contains something of the most bizarre and intriguing animals on our planet and sometimes, we are not sure what it is.
On the shores of Canterbury beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, Hanna Mary spotted something that did not seem normal. In what she believed was originally plastic, turned out to be a sea creature that has left many mesmerized.
This week, a curious-looking thing washed up on the shores of a Canterbury beach in Christchurch, New Zealand. Hanna Mary was the first person to spot the beached creature and originally thought that it was a piece of plastic sheeting or a visitor from outer space.
In a statement to the New Zealand Herald, Hanna told them, “My first thought was that it was something alien, but I was more fascinated than anything. I uploaded the photos on Facebook and we were all taking guesses, most people said skate. My guess is that it’s some sort of deep-sea skate, maybe a Bathyraja abyssicola, that might have been picked up by a trawler.”
In hopes of identified the creature, Hanna actually brought the animal to a taxidermist be he was unable to answer any questions.
Luckily, Malcolmb Francis whom is a fisheries scientist and marine ecologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand was able to identify the species. As it turned out, the animal was a type of skate, a New Zealand rough skate which is found off New Zealand’s South Island.
To identify the mystery animal, Mary took it to a taxidermist but he couldn’t give her any answers. And so, she turned to friends and family on Facebook. Here, she had slightly better luck.
“I uploaded the photos on Facebook and we were all taking guesses, most people said skate,” she said.
But still, whenever they tried to match the animal to the guess, it wasn’t quite the right fit.
“My guess is that it’s some sort of deep-sea skate, maybe a Bathyraja abyssicola, that might have been picked up by a trawler,” Mary added.
Fortunately, Malcolm Francis, a fisheries scientist and marine ecologist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, was at hand to offer some answers – and it turned out Mary was on the right track. It was a type of skate. Specifically, a male Dipturus nasutus (aka a New Zealand rough skate), which is commonly found in the waters off New Zealand’s South Island.
The remarkable find is just another reminder of the beauty that can be found in the oceans and why it is so important to protect every bit.