Gar or Garpikes (family Lepisosteidae)

Not to be confused with the garfish, a marine “sea needle” species.

The gars are a family of freshwater fish found in North America, and are most well-known for their sharp, bony scales. These are known as ganoid scales, and are one of four primary fish scale types.

In addition to their vicious scales, gars also have a dual row of sharp teeth, making them a top predator of bayous and swampy areas.

However, because bayous are so poorly-oxygenated, gills alone are not enough to provide for these large (often 1+ meters long) fish. Their vascularized swim bladders make up for the deficit in the water, and regular gulps of surface air provide the gars with the additional oxygen they need to stay in peak form.

Le Règne Animal. Georges Cuvier, 1838.
Alligator Gar Head
Gar Scales

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I always find it interesting that even though Brennan maintained that seeing her mother was just a projection of her imagination, she chooses to tell her first and foremost about the two people she loves most in the world. Not about her work, which is still obviously so much a part of her life and her identity, but about her family. About the man she loves. About the daughter they created together. I don’t know why that always sticks with me. As Brennan says in the line directly before this: “I guess I’ve changed.” And yes in so many ways she has. There was a time when she didn’t have anything else in her life except for her work. And then Angela came along, followed by Booth, and they, well, threw her for a loop. I think if her mother was still alive, those would be things that she would most want to talk to her about. The people she loves. Because she was deprived of those “coming of age” moments. I’m making a lot more out of this very short scene than I probably need to. I just love that Brennan lives such a full life now. And she is finally able to realize and acknowledge that fact (see 10x17 “I have a wonderful life”). She doesn’t just survive anymore. She flourishes.