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Marine animal skull. Large boney device on back of head. One of the strangest items I've ever found on a beach.


Ava T-B
Ava T-B 5 months ago

lizardking, thanks for those amazing notes!

lizardking 5 months ago

This is an amazing find! This is a fish skull with hyperostosis, or excessive bone growth. The large bony device is still part of the skull, just "inflated" or "swollen" looking because of the overgrowth. This is a fairly poorly understood phenomenon, but it only occurs in marine fish species (though in many different families across the board from there, including snappers, jacks and batfish to name a few). Fish bones that exhibit hyperostosis are called "Tilly Bones" after the paleontologist Dr. Johanna Gabrielle Ottelie Edinger who held a particular fascination for them.
Really awesome find, again. Here are some more links on Tilly Bones:
And my project for them on iNaturalist, with even more links, info and pictures:

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

Welcome to Project Noah, KenMenear,
I hope you like the site as much we do; there are many features you can explore:
I invite you to go to where you will find the purpose and “rules” of Project Noah.
There is a blog where we post articles from spotters with special insight into different organisms.
There are also the chats for help with identification, and to comment on your own and others’ spottings.
Look at the global and local missions to put your spottings into:
Enjoy yourself here, see you around!

KenMenear 6 years ago

No bottom jaw

Spotted by

Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Spotted on Jun 21, 2014
Submitted on Jun 25, 2014

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