A mysterious sea creature has washed up on a Welsh beach – and no knows what it is.
The five-foot skeleton, found on Rhossili beach on the Gower peninsula, has a long head and large jaw line. So far nobody has been able to confirm its identity.
‘When you look at it the first time you may think it is a crocodile, but it is certainly not,’ said Dan Forman, an expert from Swansea University.
‘Its jaw line suggests it is like a cetacean whale or a dolphin. There is a big bulge on the base of the skull which is characteristic of a cetacean.’
Cetaceans are aquatic mammals found in oceans and rivers.
‘We get a reasonable amount of whales and dolphins, a lot which are dead and decomposed in places like Pendine and Rhossili,’ said Forman.
‘From the data around carcasses washed up, there seems to be a cluster this time of year around June and July.’
The animal was found by Beth Janetta who was walking her dogs, Roxy, Bella and Bracken.
‘I was going for a run with my dogs when I came across it. It looked like a well rotted cetacean to me,’ she told Wales Online.
‘I put it on Facebook and it caused a big discussion. Other people think it is something different, like a crocodile.
‘It would be very interesting to find out what species it is.’
The National Trust was called to collect the remains.
‘We have porpoises washing up quite regularly, as well as dolphins and seals – and sometimes sheep,’ said the Trust’s area ranger, Mark Hipkin.
It is not the first mysterious creature to watch up in Wales, or even the rest of the UK.
Two years ago an unidentified 11-foot sea animal was discovered on a Port Talbot beach.
When the mystery is solved, it could provide researchers with good data on the health of marine mammals around the UK, water pollution levels as well as potential diseases.