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It was found on the shore of the Ohio River in Kentucky. It is very hard, like bone, and feels hollow but does not rattle. It is translucent. I do not think it is skull of a water fowl even though the blunt end appears beak-like. I cannot figure out if it is plant or animal. It was found in an area where arrowheads were found.

It appears to be hollow. I do not believe it is a shell since there is no margin or growth lines. It appears to be shriveled or desiccated.


1 Answer 1


This may be, though not sure, one of the supporting bones of the dorsal spine of the black drum,

Pogonias cromis also known as drum or drummer. It is the only species in the genus Pogonias. Reference

Freshwater drums are native to Ohio, preferring habitats of deeper pools of rivers and in Lake Erie with clear water and clean bottoms. They spawn from April to late summer. Reference

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Pogonias courbina is distinguished by the following characters: the occurrence of character- istic thickening of the dorsal spines VII to XI in all specimens larger than 250 mm SL; all pter- ygiophores in the dorsal-fin laminar, thin; anal-fin pterygiophores slender excluded those of spines; lateral projections of gas bladder with few finger-like projections; genetic distance between both species 1%

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An important site that helped me to identify this-


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Thank you. Additional sources say it is a Tilly bone, perhaps from a large catfish. A Tilly bone is caused by hyperostosis, or excessive bone growth and is found in many fish. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Kevin Oravec you may accept the answer if you are satisfied, for the future references. $\endgroup$
    – Ojasvi
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 7:13

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