Two little girls got a fright when they stumbled upon what appeared to be a human skeleton on Prestwick Beach.

Rebecca Milan posted the above photograph in the Cumnock Chronicle’s Camera Club group, which is run by the Advertiser’s sister paper.

The grisly remains were found by Rebecca’s daughters, who are 10 and nine, while they were looking for shells on Saturday evening [September 1].

Rebecca reported the find to the police the following morning and officers cordoned off the area for more than two hours as investigations got underway. Fortunately, the remains were not human.

Rebecca, who lives in Cumnock, told the Advertiser: “It was quite frightening, especially for my children who found it. They came across it when we were collecting shells for school.

“They stumbled upon this when it was getting quite dark. It looked very human like.

“I discretely took a picture of it and on looking at it, it really, really did look human.

“I wasn’t sure what it was so I went to the police the next day.

“The girls are fine now. They’ve gone into school today with their detective heads on and explained to their teacher that they found shells but there might be bones in there!

“It was scary at the time. I’m just pleased that it turned out to be an animal. Obviously, that’s a shame but at least it wasn’t a person, thank goodness.”

A spokeswoman from Police Scotland told the Advertiser that a specialist from Dundee University was on the scene and was able to confirm that the remains were a marine mammal, possibly a seal.

The spokeswoman added: “We did receive a report yesterday [Sunday, September 2] at around 2pm.

“The area was cordoned off and following investigations it appears it was the remains of a seal.”