Fish skull thingies
June 12, 2007 8:18 PM Subscribe
Icthyoid anatomy question: what are these things inside fish skulls?
posted by casarkos to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I pick apart the skull from a whole fish to get at the last tasty meat bits, I frequently find a pair of hard brittle pieces sitting just behind the fish brain, which don't seem to be attached to anything. These pieces are different shapes and sizes depending on the fish species, and are harder and more brittle than fish bone - actually they seem to have the same texture as tooth enamel or seashells, and each pair is exactly symmetrical, so I don't think they're calcium deposits or somesuch. Anyway what are these things, and what are they for? Do other vertebrates have them, and I'm only finding them in fish because that's the vertebrate skulls I'm most likely to have access to?