Dictionary of Ichthyology  

crucifix fish = Ariopsis felis (hardhead sea
catfish, Ariidae) head skeleton sold as
having attributes of the crucifixion of Jesus
Christ. The arrangement of bones on the
ventral surface of the head resemble a
crucified person, a section looks like the
shield of a Roman soldier, another section
looks like a Roman sword and, when shaken,
a sound like dice being cast is heard,
reminiscent of Roman soldiers gambling for
Christ's garments. The sound is presumably
loose otoliths.
Photograph by Brian W. Coad.

           Canadian Museum of Nature
         www.briancoad.com