Prehistoric find in Mobile Bay

Considered a ‘living dinosaur’
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 3:00 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - This weekend an ancient creature washed up on the shore of Mobile Bay. Covered in hard protective armor it was a rare find that is now being dissected by researchers. The strange fish was found in Coden by Tami May.

“When I was coming back from the pier I noticed something in the water. It was large and upside down. Floating upside down,” May said.

May, who just so happens to be a science teacher, knew she had found something rare.

A rare gulf sturgeon washes up in Coden
A rare gulf sturgeon washes up in Coden(WALA)

“I measured it. Took some pictures tried to do my best science attempt at it and reported it to NOAA officially by e-mail,” May told us.

May had an idea what it was so she called up a friend at the University of Southern Miss and confirmed her suspicions.

“I called him and I sent him a picture and I said is this a sturgeon? And he said it absolutely is,” May said.

A gulf sturgeon is considered a living fossil as they have been around for at least 200 million years. They can get up to 9 feet long. They can weigh up to 50 pounds. They can live up to 50 years and they are listed as threatened making this a very important find.

Gulf sturgeon 5"1" long
Gulf sturgeon 5"1" long(WALA)

And has now become a very important lesson for a science teacher to pass on to her students.

“Some of them are super excited and some of them are like that’s gross but either way what I think is the best lesson is that I still get excited. I’m a teacher but I like to learn first so when I get to learn cool things like that, and I get excited about it I bring it to my students,” May told us.

It’s the best lesson of all. One that can be learned by just being curious when you stumble on something different.

The sturgeon is now at the University of Southern Mississippi so researchers can learn more about the prehistoric fish.


Download the FOX10 Weather App. Get life-saving severe weather warnings and alerts for your location no matter where you are. Available free in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.