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CRITTER SPOTLIGHT: Northern Sea Robin: Prionotus carolinus

Today's critter spotlight was inspired by a skull that my family and I discovered while exploring Misquamicut Beach. We thought it was a bird skull. The eye placement signified bird, and the front looked like a beak. Here are two pictures of the skull!


After doing some research online, it is now apparent that this is a northern sea robin skull. Northern sea robins or Prionotus carolinus are common in New England. They are a very distinct looking fish. Here is a photo!

Northern sea robins have very bright blue eyes, and enormous fanlike pectoral fins. They can grow to about 12-16 inches in length. They have sharp spines on their cheeks, neck, shoulders, and above each eye. Interestingly, they can also produce an audible croak when held above the water.


Northern sea robins eat a variety of invertebrates including shrimp, crabs, small squid, and worms. They will also attack most types of bait, and can be found on the end of many fishing lines. They are considered a bit pesky to most fisherman as they are usually not fishing for sea robins.


Check out this short video of a sea robin trolling the ocean floor for food.

https://marinebio.org/species/northern-sea-robins/prionotus-carolinus/


Getting outside is a great way to make some really cool discoveries. I encourage you all to get outside as much as possible.


Happy Exploring,

Mrs. Morissette


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