Who hasn’t been startled by a fish skeleton on the beach? There you are in the shore, serenely lost on the horizon, and there it is seen from the corner of your eye, lying in the sand. It lies there white and dry, primitively, seemingly ancient, a fossil, but not yet. Sometimes you see a skeleton so big that it could be a dinosaur, or maybe a dragon. Everything about the dead fish looks sharp, all flesh ripped away by seagulls or foxes or dogs. Dead as dead could be. Creepy. Sad. But if you stop to look, a fish skeleton is actually quite beautiful. Craggy eye sockets are like the setting of a jewel lost at sea. And the bones have a lovely rhythm, like the many spines of a Japanese fan, or tribal markings, or the veins of a leaf. I can recognize the fish most commonly swimming in the waters of Land’s End – cod, stripe bass, bluefish, mackerel, tuna, flounder – but I’m not sure I’d know their bones. Here they are; can you identify them?
Fish (top to bottom): Tautog, Striped Bass, Bluefish Tuna, Cod, Flounder, Mackerel
Islamorada Journal 2014
Biotechniques.com -Imaging Natural History
Winter Flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)