By Amanda Oglesby / Asbury Park Press via USA today

ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK, N.J. – No pterodactyl fossil washed ashore in Island Beach State Park this week, despite speculation from more than 1,000 Facebook users who commented on a photo of a massive skull in the sand.

Instead, it was a minke whale skull, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on Island Beach State Park’s Facebook page, where a photo of the massive bone went viral this week.

Park police found the skull Monday near a beach access path, according to the environmental agency.

Island Beach State Park police found the skull Monday near a beach access path.

Minke whales are the smallest of the large baleen whales seen along New Jersey coasts, according to the environmental organization Save Coastal Wildlife. Minke adults can reach 29 to 33 feet long and weigh up to 10 tons, according to the organization.

Last summer, lifeguards in Spring Lake, a borough on the Jersey Shore, tried to save a minke whale that died after swimming into shallow surf. 




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