Nature brings balance and meaning to my life, and to explore it is so empowering. The Australian bush is a very healing place for me.Sign in to follow
Brian, this is deep. Some of the terminology I don't know, but it indicates many algae species can adapt quite easily between aquatic and aeroterrestrial habitats, but regular desiccation leading to dehydration of the cells being the biggest problem. Many species are readily adaptable from a saltwater to freshwater environment, so much so that some have become weeds. Other than that, they mention so many different types of algae that I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha.
Having had a scout around my usual sites, and knowing this spotting was at a freshwater lake where there are fish, and from seeing these remains which are very distinctive and unusual in shape, I am thinking this is a type of broad-headed fish like a catfish, aka bullhead. There are several species of the genus Ameiurus in Texan freshwater rivers and lakes, so working on the basis that your spotting is a fish (and a jigsaw puzzle), I reckon this is a good place to do some researching. I'm not a fish person at all, so these skeletal remains look very foreign to me. Here's a handy reference for local freshwater fish - https://tpwd.texas.gov/landwater/water/a...
They are all over Australian cities. A pest for sure, but they have the most incredible vocal range or skwarks and clicks and whistles, and I do enjoy just watching and listening to them. Young birds sing away to themselves quite happily, just like little children do. Nice spotting, Mel.
The skull and jawbone have separated to a right angle of 90 degrees, and we're looking down at the mandible from about 300 degrees. Those two big bits on the mandible are called the "coronoid process", and that's where muscles attach. Also, the palate (hard roof of the mouth) is exactly the same as the in the link I provided in the previous comment. I am confident enough to make a formal suggestion. I'm really enjoying this spotting, Glen. It makes me ponder and want to research. Have you got anymore like this?
I'm glad I could help. I was told very early in the piece that the most important thing is to record the spotting. Great photos aren't a prerequisite for a good spotting. Anyway, this is a great spotting, and the photos are fine. They are good enough to make an ID from, and this is what you saw on the day. All of these challenges make it very special, so be proud :)
Hopefully this will help ID the spotting. What interests me about your photos is one of the most minor details, and that is one of the small teeth. I can see only one, and it sits on the mandible (jaw bone) behind the large canine tooth. Perhaps it is a canine, or maybe a premolar tooth? That is a very distinctive feature, albeit a subtle one, and you see it very clearly in the following images - http://museum2.utep.edu/mammalogy/taxa/d... It's the small tooth between the canine and molars, and the diastemata (small spaces between) separates the different type of teeth. The diastemata being small also indicates the animal is carnivorous, or in this case omnivorous, whereas a large separation would indicate a herbivorous animal. I'm fairly confident your spotting is a Virginia Opossum, although it would be good if others could confirm or refute this. It doesn't look to be a very big specimen either, particularly if you say it is 20 inches long, so perhaps it is a juvenile animal. I doubt very much your spotting is a racoon or a cat.