What appears to be a shovelnose ray has been filmed frolicking in the shallow waters of Elliott Heads this morning, presumably hunting for food.
Resident Leanne Bettiens said she spotted the creature in the ocean at 5.30 am and captured some video of the animal encounter.
After posting the footage to social media, Leanne said what she initially thought was a shark had instead been identified by fellow residents as a shovelnose ray.
“Shovelnose rays apparently feed on small sea life like shrimp and crabs so although it looked like it was playing, it was likely feeding,” she said.
According to the Australian Museum, the Eastern shovelnose ray is endemic to the region and can be recognised by its wedge-shaped disc, its long triangular snout and its colouration.
The species grows to 1.2 metres in length and is usually seen in estuaries and on sandy substrates off beaches, but can also be found down to depths of 50 metres.