Spoonbill (Polydon spathula): Primitive Hoosier Fish (PA-23)
The spoonbill cat, or paddlefish, is not a true catfish but is a survivorst of the ancient actinopterygians. This living fossils ancestors appeared on. earth more than 60 million years ago. Because of it carilaginous frame, fossilized remains are rare.

The spoonbill has a long spoon-shaped snout, few scales, and sharklike fins and tail. Although most abundant in the Mississippi River drainage system, a few are found in Hoosier streams, lakes and quarries. Spoonbills spawn in April and May. They live from 20 to 30 years, grow 6 to 7 feet long, and weigh 160 to 200 pounds. Their diet is almost entirely freshwater plankton. Edible fish, most spoonbills are caught with nets, for they rarely take bait or lures.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Paleontology


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