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TARBORO — Tarboro is talking about a strange-looking skeleton that sent neighbors searching for answers.
Blanche Thomasson found the skeleton buried a foot-and-a-half-deep near an Edgecombe County farm.
"I thought it was a pepper or a dried-up vegetable, but I kept digging at it," she said. "It looked like a monster."
She took it to her vet, who did not know what it was.
Some people thought it was an out-of-this-world find, but they noticed that the skeleton had eyes, gills and fins.
Eventually, scientists at East Carolina University identified it as a shovelnose guitarfish, a type of shark that lives in warm waters south of North Carolina. Interesting, but not extraterrestrial.
"I was ready to talk to Geraldo about my find," she said.
A piece of burlap found near the fish may explain why it was there. Thomasson wonders if a collector had preserved the fish before it was buried.