Mystery Of Bizarre Sea Creature Solved

"It's quite a bit like I think a dragon should look like."

A New Zealand woman had a whale of a time Tuesday after she ran into a strange creature on a local beach.

Maria Lombard discovered the creature's remains bobbing in the surf at Waitarere Beach.

"It's quite a bit like I think a dragon should look like if it was ... just the head and its spine," she told

Lombard took a photo of the bizarre animal and sent it to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in hopes of having it identified. 

Animals In The News

The museum responded quickly via Twitter,  saying the skeleton didn't belong to a sea monster, a dragon or even an eel.

Lombard apparently photographed the skull and vertebrae of a smooth skate, a type of dorsoventrally flattened fish found in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Skates look similar to rays, but lay eggs. Rays bear their fish live, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Skates also tend to have a prominent dorsal fin which is typically absent or greatly reduced in rays.

Here's what the smooth skate looks like with meat on its bones: