27 May 2011, JellyBean @ 6:34 am

I really love it when mysterious things are found on beaches and in water. It usually sends people into a tizz about unknown sea monsters. It usually ends up being something easily explainable, but I love those days that lead up to the identification.

In this case, the body of a massive, bony creature was spotted in New York City’s East River and dragged onto a beach on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 21.

Onlookers assumed it was some sort of mutated animal and dubbed it “the East River monster.”

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Marine biologists, however, knew immediately what they had on their hands.

When the carcass, estimated to be 6 to 7 feet long, was first found, it was believed to be some sort of marine mammal. Photos of the creature were sent to the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation for identification.

“We could tell it was an Atlantic sturgeon right away,” Kim Durham, a rescue program director and biologist for the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation in Riverhead, N.Y., told Life’s Little Mysteries. “They have bony plates all over their bodies. There’s no mistaking a sturgeon.”

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