Fossil Friday 7/3/15: An otolith

otolith

UF 264544, the left otolith of Paralonchurus trinidadensis. (Photo © VP FLMNH)

For this week’s Fossil Friday we have an otolith from a fish called Paralonchurus trinidadensis. This specimen was found at the San Judas site in the lower Gatún Formation and is Late Miocene in age. Otoliths or “earstones” are found in bony fishes and are used for hearing and balance. Otoliths also have growth rings similar to tree rings, allowing researchers to estimate the age of the fish when it died.

References:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (1999). Introduction to Aging Fish: What Are Otoliths? http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/fish/age-growth-lab/aging-fish-otoliths/

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