So as a surprise on Sunday morning, my friend from school texted me some pictures of a fish carcass she and her dog found on a walk and was wondering if I knew anything about it. First off, I was ecstatic to even hear from her because I realized I’d lost her number. Secondly, she rekindled in me that fire for investigation and problem solving…the one I’ve had forever but recently have no need for.
I couldn’t get that nagging feeling out of my head that I have indeed seen that kind of fish before. She said that she and her husband were arguing about it being a turtle. One look at the back and the skull proved to me beyond a doubt that it was no turtle. The spine was singular and not connected to a shell. You can see the decaying flesh. Considering the cartilage with some bone and small eye sockets in the skull, along with the bony armor plating, this creature was certainly a lower level in the evolutionary tree. Most decidedly not a mammal and definitely not a turtle. The same structures, especially the bony armor point to it being quite an ancient species. No jaw present and on top of that, the cartilage usually don’t lend to a good, strong jaw structure anyways, even if it is missing.
Anyways it took me all day, as my brain rolled it around and thumbed through the dusty file cabinets of information, but suddenly I had a eureka moment. The internet is a fantastic resource…in the olden times I’d have to find my animal books, but now with the right combination of search terms coupled with hidden tucked-away information in my mind, TADAAA
THE STURGEON. That unique armor. The skull. The ancient history. EU-freaking-REKA!!
It felt GOOD to figure it out too. Man I gotta work this brain more often. Give me more mysteries!!!!