New World Press - New York
The Caruthers family was enjoying a pleasant walk down a stretch of unremarkable SoCal beach when they encountered what may be a most remarkable scientific discovery.
"It was my wife who spotted it first," said Dane Caruthers. "At first we thought it was a lizard that'd drowned and washed ashore, but it was too big -- it had this gigantic head and feathers on its arms, but it didn't look like any bird I'd ever seen. Then I thought it might be like one of those prehistoric fish that everyone thought was extinct, so I decided to call someone."
The strange carcass eventually found its way to the Biology Department of the University of California, Los Angeles, where it was examined by Dr. Trey Hermann. "A preliminary study indicates that it doesn't really fit any of our current taxonomies," Dr. Hermann said. "It seems to have certain superficial characteristics of a seagull, but with a considerable number of other, more reptilian traits."
The Caruthers family seemed to take it all in stride. "Though I have to admit I was a little excited when Dr. Hermann said they might name it after us," said Mr. Caruthers.