A group of people walking along the beach of Lancaster, England noticed something peculiar on the shore.
The group found that the animal in question — a rare blue-black mammal known as a “snakeskin dodo” — was a tad bit bigger than expected and had feathers on its back.
According to the University of Leeds, the snails and crabs the dodo and its relatives ate along the eel-shaped shoreline would be cut open and rotted.
It’s believed that they would then have fangs pierced in a gruesome display that would inject toxins through a poisoned vein into their flesh.
Legend has it that the creatures went extinct due to mud and coal mining in the area.
The blue-black Dodo (technically) is a monotreme, meaning its peculiar coat is a result of a parasitic fungus that takes the pigment from the animal’s skin. Monotremes were once widespread along eastern coastlines.
In 2017, researchers at the University of Southampton showed how a rare Monotremesis mutans, or the “snakeskin dodo,” existed in Australia. The bizarre amphibian had a blue-black coat.
It’s estimated that only two such dodos were left living in the wild.
The BBC reported that scientists tried in the late 1980s to release them into a river in central England as a test experiment, but they found the animals didn’t want to be released.
They weren’t easy to get at, either.