While waiting for the sun to rise on South Padre Island I discovered this skate egg case (aka mermaid’s purse) in the wrack line. Often mistaken for seaweed, the small pouch made of collagen protects the skate embryo as it develops.
While skates are related to both sharks and rays, they most closely resemble rays. There are roughly a dozen skate species found in the Gulf of Mexico and sadly, I was not able to pinpoint the exact species this egg case belongs to. Still fun to find, though.