| A guide to otoliths from fishes of the Gulf of Mexico - :4010 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
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A guide to otoliths from fishes of the Gulf of Mexico
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A  guide to otoliths from fishes of the Gulf of Mexico
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    "The otoliths of teleost fishes have many practical applications in fisheries science, many of which are only beginning to be fully exploited. In addition to age information, otolith microchemistry can also aid in stock identification (Edmonds et al., 1989). Analysis of banding patterns can be crossdated with tree-ring records to validate ages of long-lived fishes (Black et al., 2005), just as bomb radiocarbon signatures in otoliths can be referenced to known dates of atomic bomb tests in the 1950-70's (Campana, 1997). Otoliths can also be used for species identification, which has practical applications for diet studies, micropaleontology, and taxonomy. Species within a family will have similarly shaped otoliths, however, the exact shape of the otolith is unique to species. Otoliths grow continuously throughout a fish's life and otolith weight is generally demonstrably related to fish age and influenced by growth rates (Pawson, 1990). The two and three-dimensional shape of the otolith may also change dramatically as the fish gets larger. The goal of this report is to provide digital images of sagittal otoliths from common fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico"--Introduction.

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