FaunaFigures Fishes Ornate Bichir
Welcome back with our first new FaunaFigures Fishes model, in the new style!
These models are not still not toys, although they are very durable (certainly not bath toys!). They are instead meant as display or diorama models, to help increase the visibility of some less common fish! The pieces will be larger than before to suit the species being created, and are still made of a light-weight resin and painted by sculptor Brandon DeMoss specifically for Fauna Figures, so each one will be a unique individual!
And what better fish to start over with, than the Ornate Bichir Polypterus ornatipinnis. Of the bichir species, this is definitely the most strikingly marked and distinct from all other species.
This figure has more heft than the last one, and measures along the curve at 15cm long.
It will arrive in it’s own labelled box with an info card.
Found in the Warm and tropical rivers and lakes of western and central Africa (ornate bichirs are found mostly in tropical Africa such as the Congo and Tanganyika watershed), these fish are the last remaining survivors of the earliest group of bony fishes. The family of Bichirs (Polypteridae) is known as fossils from the Cretaceous, but the overall lineage is from much further back, in the Silurian or Devonian.
Their scales are made of a tough material called ganoine, which acts like armour (similar to that covering the North American gars). They breathe air using their modified swimbladder that acts like a lung, similar to lungfish. Their skeletons are mostly cartilage, but in the paired fins, there are a number of bones that give them thick, fleshy lobes–similar to fish like coelacanths (but evolved independently). Most notable is the dorsal fins–instead of a long, single fin the bichirs have a series of individual spines, each of which have a number of finlets on them.
On a personal note, these are my favorite type of fish and I have always found them fascinating, though frustratingly obscure!