A Smithsonian lab has determined that the animal that hit Lt. Cmdr. Nick Toth's plane as it was preparing for takeoff last September at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base was not, in fact, an osprey as originally believed, but a nine-inch sheepshead the osprey was carrying in its mouth (and dropped) as the bird realized it was in the path of the jet.
The plane sustained minimal damage, which is lucky considering that sheepshead are the fish who have several rows of blocky teeth they use to crush up prey and freak out humans. Cleared of all charges, the osprey told reporters gathered around his nest this morning that he now hopes to return to normal life and put this ugly incident behind him.
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