After my recent posts of all (almost) of the Yujin Freshwater fish ([You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
) I was asked to put up a photo of all of my Arowana figures at once. But rather than just be simple about it, I decided to do group photos of all of the ‘primitive’ bony fishes in my collection. As much because it's fun, and I don't really get to interact with the animals on the shelves very often.
The ‘primitive’ fishes is a pretty arbitrary term, but usually means fish that are part of clades that have roots far back in geologic history, mostly before the rise of the majority of modern fish. The orders included are discussed in a book called Jurassic Fishes (an aquarium husbandry book originally from Japan) as well as the Primitive Fishes blog/Facebook page/Twitter account which happen to include the same groups.
These fish tend to have primitive characteristics somewhere in their physiology, and also tend to be somewhat restricted in diversity or range (with one exception, other than what people have done). In this instance, I am stayingg with bony fishes (Osteichthyes) only. The vast majority are freshwater at least part of their lives. And too many of them are threatened with extinction. Most of the pictures will be Actinopterygii (ray-fins), with only a couple of Sarcopterygii (lobe-fins). So no sharks/rays/chimaera (Chondricthyans) or jawless fishes (agnathans) here. Not that I have any of the latter at all (there is one hagfish figure in existence that I have seen pictures of, and I don’t expect to ever find one).
But I will include the extinct fossil species' figures that I do have! It helps build up the lobe-fins a bit!
Often, the fish included are called ‘living fossils’ which is a silly, antiquated term because fossils are rocks and these animals are still alive. If anything, they can be a testament to how successful a good body plan can be in the long term (again, as long as people stay out of it).
The fish! I will do these from oldest/most primitive group to more recent. The people in the photos are sort of close to scale, with exceptions that will be mentioned.CLADISTIABichirs
All of them are the saddled bichir Polypterus endlicheri
, likely because of their popularity in Japan (the figures are also all Japanese). For the record, these are my favorite fishes in the whole entire world. I have kept 7 different species over the years, and my fish tanks are never complete if I don’t have at least one…[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R: Kaiyodo ChocoPets albino bichir, Recent Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box, Kaiyodo normal color Chocopets bichirCHONDROSTEISturgeon
The most diverse living group—and the most diverse in figures! The two figures reflect the potential scales depending on the size of the animals (the beluga sturgeon is roughly to scale with the small diver; the Lake sturgeon is a modest specimen in scale with the large diver, as examples)[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R: Original Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box Chinese Sturgeon; Kaiyodo Capsule Aquarium White Sturgeon; Replica Toy Fish 3” Lake Sturgeon; Replica Toy Fish 6” Shovelnose Sturgeon; Epoch ‘Shark & Ray Series’ Beluga Sturgeon; 3d-printed Green sturgeon; Recent Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box Chinese SturgeonPaddlefish
Relative of the sturgeon. Until recently there were two species but it is believed that the Chinese Paddlefish Psephurus
is possibly extinct; the American Polyodon
is not doing much better in many places. The diver is to scale with the 3D printed model.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Upper L-R: 3D printed model; Whittier Decoys wooden carving; Tchibo bath toy(!)HOLOSTEIGars
I have a surprising number of these, so I had to split them up!
First, the larger genus, Atractosteus
. The diver is to scale with the larger models (using modern sizes—historically, much larger individuals were recorded)[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Back row L-R: Wooden carved alligator gar model; 3D printed Tropical Gar; Recent Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box Alligator gar
Front row L-R: Replica Toy Fish 3” juvenile alligator gar; Replica Toy Fish 3” Adult alligator gar; Replica Toy Fish 6” alligator gar
And a quick photo with the small figures to scale with a diver, for fun![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The next ones are a variety of Lepisosteus
species, again, roughly to scale with the diver.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Back L-R: Wooden carved Shortnose gar, Wooden Carved Longnose gar
Front L-R: Replica Toy Fish 6” Longnose gar, Replica Toy Fish 3” longnose gar; Toba Aquarium Series 2 ‘living fossils’ spotted gar
Plus, I have a few fossil ones!
A Paleocene gar (I received this as a spare when a designer was building a Paleocene display in a museum I managed). Suffice to say, this isn’t one that can be bought just anywhere![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
And, unlike today, gars used to be found outside of North and Central America. And Favorite captured that in their Hunting Spinosaurus desktop model:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The explorer is to scale assuming that the spinosaur is ‘only’ about 15 m long. The gar species is likely Dentilepisosteus kemkenensis
given the size, place and time—Cretaceous Africa.Bowfin
Of all of the primitive fishes, this has proved to be one of the more maddeningly difficult animals to find in any form. Replica Toy Fish once hinted at a 6” model, but so far that has not happened. So I only have this one, clearly not to scale with the diver:[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
It is another Whittier Decoys wooden carving. It would be a medium sized specimen if it were alive.OSTEOGLOSSOMORPHA
The group that started this thread (inadvertently). This is more properly known as the Osteoglossomorphs, and includes Pirarucu (=Arapaima), Arowana, Featherfin Knifefish, Elephantnose fish and other mormyrids; and the freshwater Butterflyfish Pantodon
. The only one that I don’t have at least one representative of is the butterflyfish. For now…Pirarucu
Roughly to scale with the swimmer, now—like the gars, they were likely capable of growing much larger at one time. There are likely several more figures than this, but I don’t always chase them down. There are also several species of Arapaima
but as far as I can tell, all of these are A. gigas
; physically the species look very similar.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R, starting at the top: Recent Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box Arapaima, Toba Aquarium Arapaima, Takara ‘Amazon River set’ Arapaima, Original Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box Arapaima, Epoch ‘Living Fossil Collection’ Arapaima, Kaiyodo Capsule Aquarium ArapaimaOther osteoglossomorphs
I have a representative of each of two of the other families of osteoglossids. The knife fish would be a large but to-scale figure; the elephant nose figure is ridiculously oversized![You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R: 3D printed Clown Knifefish Chitala ornatus
; 3D printed Double-Nose Elephant Fish Campylomormyrus rhynchophorus
The picture that started this! I have included them all crammed together—with a representative of at least one figure from each of the Australian, Asian (okay, a lot of those) and American species. The only one missing is an African Arowana Heterotis
because nobody makes one. They are also related to Arapaima anyway. Like the Arapaima, I don’t always chase after every Asian arowana anymore, because there are a lot of them! Even of the ones I have, there are variants (such as a Gold Kaiyodo Capsule figure, and a red Marmit figure).
And the diver is roughly to scale with the majority of them.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R, (all Asian Arowana Scleropages formosus
unless otherwise stated, but I will give the color as best as I can tell): Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box 2nd release Super Red; Marmit ‘World of Tropical Fish’ Yellow Tail; Yowies Spotted Saratoga Scleropages leichadrti
; Yujin “Freshwater Fishes series’ Red Crossback; Kaiyodo Aqualand Silver Arowana Osteoglossum bicirrhosum
; Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box 3rd release Malayan Blue; Yujin ‘Freshwater Fishes series’ Gold Highback; Kaiyodo Capsule Aquarium Super Red; Colorata ‘Fossil Fishes’ box 1st release green crossback; Toba Aquarium Series 2 ‘living fossils’ (the color doesn’t look like an obvious existing color variety).
And for fun, a few extinct osteoglossomorphs, from the Cretaceous! These are part of the ichthyodectid family. The small one is to scale with the divers; the large one would be a modest-sized specimen!Ichthyodectids[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
L-R: FaunaCasts Xiphactinus
; Bandai ‘Hungry Dinos’ Cladocyclus
(it is part of a diorama model, being eaten by a Pteranodon
—the scale of the Pteranodon helped me determine what species this should be, as it was clearly an ichtyodectid!)
So that’s all of them that I have. For now, because I hope that other figures will show up for these groups more frequently.
I also hope people can add on!
And soon I will post again with the lobe-fins.