Freakish 3ft long sea ‘dinosaur’ with hard-plate armour found washed up on beach

A buck-toothed 3ft sea beast that looks not too far off a legless crocodile has been found beached in Virginia, US, by a man who has developed a habit of spotting them

A hulking armoured sea creature has been discovered washed up on a deserted beach.

As Allen Sklar drove across Assateague Island, in Virginia, US, he spotted a beast lying motionless on the sand and immediately pulled up to take a closer look.

It soon became apparent that this was no ordinary fish out of water but a bizarre-looking armoured beast that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Measuring around three feet long, the animal boasted quite the overbite with its top gnashers on show beneath a stretched out pointed nose, Newsweek reports.

Fortunately for Allen, it wasn’t the first time he’s come across such a freakish creature so managed to calmly take a snap of what he recognised as an Atlantic sturgeon.

Allen said he found the fish on the beach at Assateague Island, a 37-mile-long strip of land, and he quickly snapped a few pictures of the creature.

Allen told Newsweek: “I drive the 12 miles of beach about 100 days a year and so see a lot of stuff others don’t. This was the second sturgeon I have seen in 27 years of driving on the island.”

He captioned a photo of the fish on Facebook: “This 37-inch fish is a true member of the dinosaurs.

“It has no scales only rows of hard plates called scutes. A bottom feeder, it will eat almost anything including clams, mussels, and dead fish.

“Under its chin are four whiskers called barbels which are used to sense the bottom for food. The mouth is hard and bony with no teeth.

“This is a small one, researchers have found them up to 160 pounds in the rivers and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and [they] can weigh over a thousand pounds in other parts of the world.

“Overfished to the point of almost being extinct they were put on the Endangered Species list in 2012.”

The Atlantic sturgeon is a prehistoric fish that can be found in rivers and coastal waters, and can grow up to 14ft in length.

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