A Liverpool couple are convinced they have found a dead “penguin” washed up on a beach.
The couple from Crosby, who do not wish to be named, saw the shape of a mysterious figure washed ashore while they were walking along Crosby beach at 11am yesterday morning.
In footage shared by the Liverpool Echo , the creature appears to be half-eaten as it crashes against the sand.
It seems to have a beak bearing similarities to penguins.
The man who took the footage told the Echo: "We were walking down the beach and we thought we'd seen a big fish at first and then when we went a bit closer to it we thought it was a seal but it's actually a penguin.
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"I didn't think it was a penguin when I first looked at it but when we looked at the videos we had taken when we got home, you can clearly see that it's a penguin."
He said they couldn’t get any closer to the rotting body “because it stunk”.
"We were just shocked by it,” he added. “It must have been like that for about two months.”
But an expert has now waded in to dismiss the animal being a penguin, given that the nearest penguins are found in the Cape of South Africa thousands of miles away.
Carl Larsen, director of Zoology at the University of Liverpool, told the Echo that it is likely a guillemot, a species of auk.
The black-and-white birds do bear similarities to penguins – particularly with their upright posture – but are not closely related.
"Guillemot is a species of auk. It does look large in the video but that is because it is bloated and decomposing," Mr Larsen said.
"They breed around our coastline but spend winter out at sea. The nearest resident population is around Anglesey so it could easily wash up here.
"The Merseyside coastline is superb for things washing up. I've seen minke whale, harbour porpoise, grey seals and even sheep over the years."
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