Torpedo Ray Strands in Foggy Wellfleet Harbor

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Wellfleet Harbor Enshrouded in Holmesian Fog

With fog so thick you could be forgiven for mistaking Wellfleet Harbor for the Thames, Outer Cape Cod enjoys lingering mild temperatures as Thanksgiving dawns.  Chilled surface waters and warm bay breezes stir a ghostly brew of mists, clouds and dampened echoes.  While not actually “raining,” you soak clean through to the bone just walking down the beach.

Small Torpedo Ray Emerges from Fog

A stranded torpedo ray had been reported by cove residents earlier this week and had been spied by Mass Audubon staff last weekend near the boat ramp at Shirttail Point.  The last sighting was “under the high bank at Chipman’s Cove,” which stretches from Duck Creek in the north to the springtime terrapin mating aggregation in the south.  From Old Pier Landing we walked the bank south and found only a decomposing 7-foot ocean sunfish that had been buried, but was now re-surfacing through weathering tides.  We headed north and discovered the torpedo ray carcass in front of a seawall and high bank opposite the town pier at Shirttail Point.

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Small Torpedo Ray in Wellfleet Harbor

This carcass had been heavily depredated and was quite decomposed.  It measured just a tad over one foot wide and only two & a half foot long from snout to the trailing edge of the tail fin. 

Information on torpedo rays (Torpedo nobiliana) can be found at the Turtle Journal posting, Shocking Discovery! Torpedo Ray in Wellfleet Bay.

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