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