Osteichthyes literally translates into “bony fishes” and nothing feels bonier than a fish spine! These tough elements can be found on the anterior portion of the fins and are usually unsegmented. Spines have been used for various reasons, but mainly for protection against predators. In catfish especially, the pectoral spines can be serrated! @tmorgan @acurrier@matthew-croxton@andrea-brook@denise-porcello@maggie-paxson@catherine-mueller and B. Stubbs found beautiful examples of the diversity in fish spines out a Montbrook!
@rebecca-mussetter found what we think is a gill raker. Gill rakers are used by fishes to trap their prey, in the same manner that filter-feeders do. This raker is very robust, which has led some to think that it came from a large fish, very similar to a Large Mouth Bass.
I’d love to hear your thoughts (or stories!) in regards to these beautiful fish spines!
I remember finding these because they were easy to identify. These were some of the first fossils I found and I remember thinking “cool, I found something I know is identifiable and clearly not a rock”. LOL!