The Seaside Aquarium reported a large skate washed ashore at the Cove. “Upon closer examination we were able to determine that the four-foot skate was a female longnose skate,” the aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe said.
The skate had been very close to laying an egg casing — often referred to as a mermaid’s purse— about 5 inches long and still in the process of developing.
Longnose skates can reach a maximum size of 4 1/2 feet and can live for more than 20 years. They are bottom feeders which have adapted a unique way of capturing prey by pouncing on top of their victims and pinning them to the ocean floor.
Other local finds include larger moon jellies littering the shore line, half of a small male California sea lion skull and a hatched-out egg casing from another type of much smaller skate, the black skate.