17 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #410

  1. There seem to be some little spots along the top of the dentary, but otherwise teeth don’t seem to be prominent. So probably not a pike or a barracuda.

  2. There are too many teleosts. My guess, and I emphasize guess, is some sort of whiting, Sillaginidae. based on longish snout and toothlessness

  3. Adam Yates obviously knows his teleosts a lot better than I do, but … he may be right. Much as I liked the puns about codswallop, gadding, and pollocks, I think they are in the wrong kettle of fish. I found a picture of a cod (Gadua more) skull on the WWWeb, and (i) shorter snout, (ii) more prominent teeth.

  4. I wanted to say cœlocanth when I saw this but I suspect, after a tiny bit of research, that it’s likely to be an actinopterygian. More research needed.

  5. Palfreman– I think the arm (a.k.a. pectoral fin) is that feather tuft sticking back from the bone labeled “apula” (I’m betting the obscured letters are “sc”), so I agree– more likely Actinop. than Sarcop. I think I once (actually more than once, since he tended to repeat himself in giving presentations) heard Gareth Nelson say “Fossil fishes are just messes in rocks: if a carefully prepared recent specimen is this messy, I can well believe it! Hmmm… small teeth, lots and lots of gill: maybe a filter feeder?

  6. One of the diagnostic characters oif a coelacanth is that they have lost the maxilla. Since there is a nice, clearly labelled maxilla it ain’t no coelacanth. Also definitely not a lungfish as their crushing toothplates would be easily observed in a skull prepared like thisAs All notes the lack of a bony axis in the pectoral fin absolutely rules out sarcopt in any case. The mobile maxilla with a free posterior ends means that this is a teleost actinopterygian. But thats as far as I can get for now.

  7. I’ve found a website that claims to show (about four images from the top) a pollock skull: general appearance is o.k., but teeth are more visible than on Paolo’s specimen. Is there something like a pollock that doesn’t have teeth. (The photo I found seems to be missing a lot of the gill skeleton that Paolo’s preserves.). Since I’m not sure what happens to links when I post here, I’ll send the URL as a separate message.

  8. I just did the obvious – click on the images for enlargements! This skull isn’t toothless, just the tips are broken off/fallen out. The tooth bases are visible when you look at an enlargement. The match between the various bones and that pollock skull is very good. I think Chris was right when he suggested it was a load of old pollocks.

    • You are right. I cleaned quite a few fish skulls so far, and the teeth of fish with multiple rows of small teeth (like in the cod family) always fal out unless you scrape the jaws by hand, with no heating. Teeth of fis in a single row usually do not fall out.

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