Monday, October 13, 2008

Puzzler From The Sea

Here are three
from the sea,
What could they be?


threecollie said...

I am a total landlubber but I am guessing baby oysters. I am probably quite wrong but I can use my landlocked life as a good excuse. lol

cinbad122 said...


Deb said...


The Troll said...

immature oysters

The first man to eat an oyster was the bravest man who ever lived.

Jon Swift (I think)

naturally said...

"Fish ears," from inside a fish's head. Fishmongers used to dishonestly sell them as scallops.

My second guess is scallops.

David said...

More urinary tract stones? :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Little tiny pebbles?

kevin said...

I'm going with the otolith thing.

I saw your mom & dad in McDonalds Sunday morning. They seem to be getting along alright.

Miz S said...

Why must you torment us like this?

Floridacracker said...

They look like baby oyster crackers to me.

They do have a certain clamnicity about them, but ... no.

Oh, you fisheries biologists say the darndest things ;)

You have to be pretty brave to eat them (raw) these days too!

Well, they would be mighty tiny scallops if they did. Still you are in the zone.

We have moved out of the bladder zone at this point. Other end.

A type of "stone", at least by name.

Was it early? They had probably just finished a rave ... crazy party animals.

Miz S,
I'm evil.
Okay ... since you whined, here's the answer.

These 3 objects are the otoliths of a sailcat ... gaftopsail catfish.
Sail cats are big marine catfish. One of my saltier students brought these in to stump me ... He did not, I knew they were otoliths, but I didn't know whose otoliths they were.

Great job Deb and Kevin for nailing it.

vicki said...

I think this is another "technicality"- fish ears sounds right to me. You. You scientist, you.
More than your dead gator has rendered me speechless, but I've been here. Tell me you got Shakespeare and Dostoevsky. I sent them media; from Chicago that might mean "next year".
I'm down to Florida tomorrow- I can barely contain myself. Check the garden and yard, snuffle the child, dine on shrimp- it's all good.

kevin said...

Yeah, they were having breakfast. It looked like they'd been partying pretty hard all night.

Suze said...

Ok, I'll bite: what are otoliths?

Floridacracker said...

Cryptic message confuses Cracker.
Glad you are in paradise soon.

Refueling for another wild adventure no doubt.

Floridacracker said...

Fish "ear stones" ... they sense movement and balance.
Fisheries biologists can age fish by counting annular rings in otoliths.

Deb said...

I finally learned how to remove otoliths from fish this summer- small fish like sunfish and yellow perch. We're talking more like 5 mm otoliths here. Those are huge.

Freste said...

Wow FC since I grew up on the coast I know these are 3 fine examples of the otoliths of a sailcat ... gaftopsail catfish.

Did I get it right?

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SophieMae said...

DAWG! I never would have gotten this, coz I don't do them furrin measures. 8-}

Another wild and crazy week and I nearly missed your blue curl! You totally nailed it! gorGEOUS! And that sunrise!!! The sunflowers are a treat, as well. I just love yellow season. Rattlebox, goldenrod, partridge pea, St. Andrew's cross and all the other hypericums... The roadsides are aglow.

Floridacracker said...

These sailcats are pretty huge fish!

You are like an otolith genius Dude! Amazing.

Thanks for that public service announcement. Lots of my students are serving, so I'll check that out.

"the yellow season" ... how perfect a title. I've been admiring huge clumps and fields of yellow all week!

VitaminSea said...

otolith? I have no idea, actually.

The things I learn over here....

Doug Taron said...

I would have gotten it, but I'm late to the party. Who am I kidding? I had no idea what they are. They're from vertebrates. Loved the photos in your last post.

caroline said...

I have the task of finding a science W.O.W. for the science teacher in my bldg...that is "Word of the Week". Challenge he threw me last year after I wised off to him with "syzygy". He is 29, I am much more mature, the trick is to get him with a word he doesn't know. I am winning :o}

Guess what the WOW will be this week!
Caroline in South Dakota

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Oh, counting annular rings in the otoliths must be like counting stress lines in neanderthal teeth! cool...