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"I first saw one of our inner fish on a snowy July afternoon whil studying 375-million-year-old rocks on Ellesmere Island, at a latitude about 80 degrees north. My colleague and I traveled up to this desolate part of the world to try to discover one of the key stages in the shift from fish to the land-living animals. Stiking out of the rocks was the snout of a fish."(from Your Inner Fish, written by Neil Shubin, pp.4)

The context considered, the underlined sentence means "what stuck out the rocks was the snout of a fish". This sort of gerund seems to be different from "Running is fun" type of gerund. Is that ordinary? Thanks in advance.
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Hi aramahosi,

I suspect, the sentence

"Stiking out of the rocks was the snout of a fish."

is an inversion of

"The snout of a fish was stiking out of the rocks."

Maybe this way it won't look too strange for you.
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Victor is right. This is simply an inversion.

The snout of a fish was sticking out of the rocks.

Both of you should note the spelling sticking, by the way. Emotion: smile

CJ
Thanks, victor_amelkin.

If this expression is an anastrophe, what sort of effect did the author design in the sentence?
aramahosiIf this expression is an anastrophe, what sort of effect did the author design into the sentence?
Suspense. Postponing the most important part, the surprise, the discovery, until the end of the sentence.

Sticking out of the rocks was ........... ??????

Compare:

Climbing into the window was a ........ ??????
Attached to the windshield was a ........ ??????
Floating on the surface of the ocean was a ...... ??????

CJ
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Hi CJ,

> Both of you should note the spelling sticking, by the way.

I was just copying and pasting. Shame on me :-[