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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria to consider new appeals process for rejected short-term rental applications

There is not an established process in place for people seeking to reapply

Canadian seniors isolated with fewer friends, less access to internet

Findings appear in assessment of health and social challenges associated with COVID-19

Vehicle bursts into flames due to mechanical failure, occupants escape injury

View Royal firefighters were on scene less than five minutes after the first 911 call

Victoria Fire Department investigating explosion at supportive housing complex

The explosion blew out a window and caused damage to the frame of the building

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Most Read