Spiro, Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States, North America
30 Dec 1966
Style: Scales Raw Material 2: Alligator gar Element: Complete Comments: These are interesting. Joan Gardner, conservator, writes in 2/77, "Two scales of alligator gar- lepisosteus tristoechus, which can grow to 14 ft in length in the Mississippi R. & its tributaries. They can also be found in Mexico and Central Amer. Hundreds of these overlapping scales could come from 1 lg fish. In earlier times an oil from this fish was used in continental US as a lotion to ward off buffalo-gnats (Forbes & Richardson, The Fishes of Illinois, 1920). The "plates" are quite resilient so to kill one you must cut its throat or hit it on the back of the head. (Wortman, Jacob L."Icthyological Papers by George Powers Dunbar, with a Sketch of His Life" Americal Naturalist 5/1882, pp. 381-388). Possible uses- projectile point, engraver, shaman's charm? The unnumbered scale w/skin attached was given to me by Mr. Robert Kanazawa, Vertebrate Zoology Dept. for comparisonal purposes."