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Possible fish scale fragments from Big Brook, NJ


TRexEliot

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The first of these (the dark black one), I found last year and I was told by Dana Ehret of the NJ state museum that it was most likely a fish scale fragment, and that it could possibly be from a gar. After looking up gar scales, however, it has never seemed like a perfect fit for the shape. A few days ago, I made a trip to the brook, and found the second tan specimen. The pattern in the enamel looks very similar (though not identical) to the first, so I thought this could be another fish scale. Since I hadn't adequately satisfied my own curiosity about the exact species of the first, I figured I'd post photos of both and see what people think.

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Edited by TRexEliot
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It might be the shell fragment from a Trionyx soft shell turtle.

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@frankh8147  @Carl

 

I agree with fish scale of some sort for the first. Not sure about gar, but some sort of scale.

No clue on the second one.

 

Wild guess - Has the same sort of squamation that you can see on some fish skulls. So maybe a skull bit???

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I really think what you have is the shell fragment of a Trioynx soft shell turtle, mainly because of the pattern and shape. Notice the similar pattern. Alligator gar scales also are very triangular I’m pretty sure.

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20240420_180505.thumb.jpg.8a5b627a0d3de28dc2bf88de580ae1f3.jpgI think this is fish too (probable gar).

 

For comparison here is a scaled that was identified by David Parris as gar compared to some Trionx pieces I found (all from Big Brook area).

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Edited by frankh8147
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@Mosasaurhunter  I think the lack of scale may be making it confusing, but both of these are very small. About the size of a fingernail and not much thicker either. Also, both have a pretty distinct enamel coating on one side.

@frankh8147 I agree that the texture on the gar scales looks right, but I just can't get past the fact that they all seem to have this very distinct triangular shape, while both of these seem to be more or less rectangular. Definitely agree that it seems like a fish scale of some sort, though.

 

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On 4/19/2024 at 6:19 PM, Fossildude19 said:

@frankh8147  @Carl

 

I agree with fish scale of some sort for the first. Not sure about gar, but some sort of scale.

No clue on the second one.

 

Wild guess - Has the same sort of squamation that you can see on some fish skulls. So maybe a skull bit???

I agree that skull bit is a good option. Could be sturgeon. And you can basically rule out trionychid or croc because their ornamentation is composed of pits rather than blisters, as in your specimens.

Edited by Carl
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