The carcass of what appears to be a snub-nosed dolphin washed ashore Mulambin Beach, and was photographed by a passer-by on Thursday.
The carcass of what appears to be a snub-nosed dolphin washed ashore Mulambin Beach, and was photographed by a passer-by on Thursday.

Authorities baffled by mystery creature found on CQ beach

UPDATE 4.40PM: THE Department of Environment and Science has responded to the photos of the animal that washed ashore yesterday.

However, they believe it is unlikely to be a dugong or a dolphin.

It could potentially be a shark liver, but it is difficult to conclusively identify without further information about the size or weight.

"The deceased animal in the photo appears to be a marine mammal, but due to decomposition and limited information available, it is difficult to determine what species,” the spokesperson said.

"The stranding has not been reported to DES.

"DES officers searched the beach and found no sign of the carcass, which may have been washed away with the tide.

"People are urged not to touch or interfere with stranded animals due to the risk of injury or disease.

"People are encouraged to report marine wildlife strandings of sick, injured or dead turtles, dolphin, dugongs or whales by calling the RSPCA Qld on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).”

EARLIER: AN ENDANGERED dolphin? Dugong? Another seal?

Social media is again speculating on the mysteries of what lies beneath after a creature's carcass was found washed ashore Mulambin Beach yesterday.

Soft to the touch and a greyish pink are the only two recognisable qualities of this creature, which appears to have no tail and a round head.

Sherry and Rodney Simmons posted an image to the Yeppoon Families page asking if anyone had an idea as to what it was?

It fits the profile of a snubfin dolphin, whose presence is well documented in Central Queensland waters.

In 2013, a long-term study of an isolated population of Australian snubfin dolphins living in the Fitzroy River demonstrated the need for urgent conservation action.

It is listed as "vulnerable” under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Also in 2013, one of the rare creatures washed up dead on the beach at Cooee Bay, with no distinct reason evident for death.

Snubfin Dolphin washed up on Cooee Bay in 2013. Photo: Contributed
Snubfin Dolphin washed up on Cooee Bay in 2013. Photo: Contributed

In 2016, the rare species washed up on Moore Park Beach near Bundaberg - about 200km south of the most southerly-known population.

Commenters have suggested it's a mahi mahi, or common "dolphinfish” and are identifiable by their compressed bodies and single long-based dorsal fin from the head almost to the tail.

The Yeppoon Coast Guard, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have been contacted for their expertise.

Only weeks ago, Justin Hill posted a photo of a mystery creature washed ashore a Capricorn Coast Beach.

Some speculated it was a shark or dugong, before the Yeppoon Coast Guard later confirmed it was a seal.

MYSTERY SHARK: Justin Hill discovered the mystery creature on Emu Park beach in December last year.
MYSTERY SHARK: Justin Hill discovered the mystery creature on Emu Park beach in December last year. Contributed

More to come.

About the snubfin dolphin:

  • Adults average 2 metres in length (maximum male - 2.7 m, maximum female - 2.3 m).
  • The species is easily recognised from other dolphins from its blunt, rounded head and absence of a beak.
  • The only species it could be confused with is the dugong, which lack a dorsal fin and have a more robust shape.

Source: EHP



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