Description: The vertebrae of bony fish are usually cylinder shaped with conical shaped (amphacoelous) openings at both the anterior and posterior ends. There are concentric circular markings on the surface of the concaved openings. They also have many thin struts comprising the sides. Neural processes are apparent on freshly weathered specimens or from insitu. Most vertebra are between 6 mm to 3 cm (about .25 to 1.25 in) long but only about 3 mm to 1.5 cm (about .2 to .5 in) wide.
Commonality: Since fish vertebrae are so delicate, it is uncommon to find one complete. They are more common insitu. Broken or worn specimens are common.
Similar fossils: The vertebrae are similar to shark's vertebrae but these vertebrae are longer than the diameter. Most shark vertebrae have a diameter larger than the length and are more compact.
Size: Since the exact bony fish that these vertebrae came from is uncertain, the exact size is unclear.
Notes: Due to their delicate nature, fish vertebrae are more common insitu than in the stream or stream banks because the stream has not had a chance to destroy them yet. Further they are more common in certain layers of the Mt. Laurel than in the Navesink formation.