Pukehina beachgoers were this week stumped when they came across what they thought was a pre-historic creature on the shore.
The remains of what is now believed to be an Orca washed up about 5km from Pukehina during violent storms last week.
The carcass of a marine animal washed up on Pukehina Beach is likely to be that of a killer whale.
Stretching about 9metres in length with large teeth and rudimentary flippers, the Orca had an uncanny resemblance to pre-historic creatures, leaving the group of beachgoers wondering.
A video of the remains was posted on YouTube on April 28 – with a question “can anyone identify what it is?”
Marine mammal expert Anton van Helden says the remains are most likely an Orca, based on the fins.
The killer whale (Orcinus orca), also referred to as the Orca, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas.
It is understood the remains have since been washed out to sea, says Anton.