ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK-When Stephanie Hall found the carcass of an odd four to five foot long creature lying in the sand at Island Beach State Park, she wasn’t quite sure what it was.
“I was scared to walk up to it at first,” she said. She said it looked like an alligator or crocodile. She said she had seen a seal on the beach and altered her jogging path to go around the seal and that’s when she saw it.
What she saw was the prehistoric Atlantic Sturgeon.
According to NOAA, the Atlantic sturgeon can grow to approximately 14 feet long and can weigh up to 800 pounds. The fish spawn in freshwater. In the New Jersey area, the adult sturgeon migrate up the Hudson River in February and March to spawn.
Atlantic Sturgeon can live for up to 60 years. Their prehistoric evolution has been dated back to the Triassic period some 245 to 208 million years ago.
Photos by Stephanie Cillo Hall/Facebook.