Locals are scratching their heads after bones, possibly belonging to a crocodile, appeared on a suburban Manchester street.

Ashleigh Leonard, 23, noticed the remains laying on the ground while travelling with her one-year-old daughter Harper Livesey on 29 January. Her pictures seem to show the shattered bones of a reptile including a jawbone with long, sharp teeth.

Leonard said: "It's a complete mystery as to how the bones got there. I just live on a normal suburban street in Wythenshawe."

"When opening the car door to get my daughter out of her baby seat, I noticed what seemed to be a gathering of bones," she said.

"None of my neighbours have any exotic pets that I'm aware of. I know for certain my facing neighbours, next door and upstairs don't have any animals at all."

The bones could belong Nile crocodile, a giant 2,000lbs (900kg) predator that dwells in northern Africa, according to Dr Casey Holliday from the University of Missouri.

"It's such a fun mystery. It's very weird," he said. "I imagine a crocodile wouldn't fare so well on the streets of Manchester.

"This may seem strange but crocodiles are common pets in the US and UK. I imagine someone's crocodile either escaped or outgrew its loving home and the owners disposed of it.

"A quick Google reveals a number of stories of people and their pet crocs, so having a pet croc is not uncommon in the UK, or in the US.

"The skull would be in better shape if someone just dumped a dead croc, but if people just abandoned it or it escaped, it could have been crossing a road in Manchester.

"The thing to remember is crocodiles are super cute as babies, but just like human babies they grow up to be teenagers and then they're not as fun to live with," he added.

Crocodiles may be rare on British streets but are all too common Down Under. Late last year, four Australian men were branded idiots of the century after they posed for photos inside a crocodile trap in Queensland, Australia.

"I'm wondering if these fellows are vying for the idiots of the year award or the idiots of the century award," a local official told ABC radio.

nile crocodile
Nile crocodiles can grow up to 18ft long Hans Hillewaert/Flickr