A five foot long badly decomposed mytsery sea creature baffled beachgoers when it washed up at the bottom of cliffs near a popular resort town.
The brown, headless creature was found by Brit James Clegg at the bottom of the cliffs between Porto de Mós (Lagos) and Luz in the Algarve region of Portugal.
James told Portugal Resident that he couldn't work out what the mystery beast was.
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James said: “I found a headless fish/mammal on the beach a couple of days ago. I thought it was a sea-lion, but its belly looks like a whale. It’s about 1.5 metres long.”
The Resident contacted marine biologist Élio A Vicente who tried to shed some light on the mystery who said the decomposition state is the reason why it was hard to identify.
“It is a dolphin (either ‘common’ or ‘striped’ – Delphinus delphis or Stenella coeruleoalba, respectively) in advanced decomposition," he said.
“In order to establish the exact species, genetic analysis or examination of the cleft palate (fenda palatina) would be necessary.
"Through the photos, we believe it is a female, but we cannot confirm this. If measurements are correct, it is a young adult or adult.
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“The boneless (tail) fluke is still noticeable. The lack of a right pectoral flipper and head may indicate that the specimen got stuck (either alive or dead) in fishing nets, hence the likely cut to free it from said nets.”
In March, fears that a deep sea predator could be lurking in Devon's seas were stoked after a mutilated dolphin washed up on a beach there.
The dead dolphin was found with the lower half of its body missing by 20-year-old Joe Noble when visiting South Milton sands beach.
It was just a week after Britain's "first Great White Shark" was spotted in West Sussex, and he feared the mammal he discovered could have been its latest victim.
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