The skeletal artistry of the paddlefish skull

December 27, 2018

A simply mind-blowing preparation of the skull of an American paddlefish, Polyodon spathula. In life the paddle-shaped snout is covered by thousands of electroreceptors that detect the swarms of zooplankton on which the paddlefish feeds.

This was on display in the gift shop at the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City when I visited in July of this year. I was relieved it wasn’t for sale, first because it truly would have bankrupted me, and second because as a fellow excavator of antiquities once said, “It belongs in a museum!”

3 Responses to “The skeletal artistry of the paddlefish skull”

  1. David Marjanović Says:

    *blink* what

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder if there are any fish species with crazy vertebrae? Utilizing the axial skeleton as the primary means of locomotion is likely to select for some crazy things. The only thing I can think of is Saurichthys with its duplicated vertebral arches.

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