Funny Bones!
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien  by Sandstein - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Funny Bones!

Sunfish do not have swim bladders, so how do they avoid sinking like a millstone? “..the most striking characteristic of the [Sunfish] skeleton is the great reduction of bony tissue. Ossification is so weak that the material […] resembles cartilage. The skeleton, when dry, for the most part shrinks into thin, delicate and fibrous or spongy pieces….”

Reference: Gregory & Raven, (1934).

As a consequence of these flimsy skeletones, few sunfish remains survive the test of time. We are consequently left with very few archaeological traces of these strange fish.

Reference: Porcasi, Andrews (2001), Gregorova et al (2009)

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