These intricate and delicate structures are vertebrae from a fish. They seem both complex and beautiful. They are an example of the interesting and amazing things you can find washed up on strandlines if you only take a closer look. These backbones were still articulated and joined to the head (illustrated in the picture below). I am not certain, yet, what type of fish this is but I am going to find out when I can access the right literature; both the bones and the scales can provide clues for identification.
It would have been very easy to overlook these fishy remains on the beach. An entire mono-filament nylon fishing net, complete with the catch of fish, was washed ashore and mostly buried in the sand. Only a small portion of the net was visible above the surface. On close inspection, dead fish heads and bones were entangled in the mesh and protruding from the sand – as you can see in the photographs below. Some of the skin and scales remained but the meat had been removed. In the sand around the nets and bones are small holes where small seashore creatures, like the sandhopper amphipods, have burrowed into the sediments and feasted on the fish.
Revision of a post first published 28 May 2010
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