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[Deepsea] unidentified creature

Vanessa.Scurci at colorado.edu Vanessa.Scurci at colorado.edu
Sat Jan 21 19:38:15 EST 2006

Dear members of DeepSea,
I have been searching for the name of an animal that I spotted while snorkeling
this past August off the northwest coast of Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea.
 I think it might be some kind of rajiforme, but I have not been able to find an
image of it anywhere.  I am becoming really frustrated, because it is the most
unusual creature I have ever encountered.  Here is my best description of it:
it is all black, and has a downward curved, trunk- or anteater nose-like
protrusion that seemed to be at the front of its body, and the end of the
protrusion is frilled.  Its body billows out from behind the trunk, and looks
like many layers of thin fabric that are open at the end, similar to someone
dressed in a sheet like a ghost.  As it moves through the water, it looks like
it is flying, and moves similar to a ray, although it does not have the diamond
shape of a ray or any discernable wings on its sides.  I was just off-shore, and
I watched it as it used its trunk-like protrusion to suck up food (I assume)
from the coral on the rocks.  It didn't seem to notice or take an interest in
me, and it glided through the water about four or five feet below the surface,
but wasn't incredibly fast.  This is all the description I can give, but it
would be so wonderful if anyone had any ideas or guesses as to what this might
be- I am very interested to know more about it and am at my wit's end!  Please
email me back if possible.
Ms. Scurci

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