Can we tell fish environment from their earbones?

New research in to Reef Perch fish earbones led by Dr Gretchen Grammar from the Southern Seas Laboratory, with contributions from Christopher Izzo and Bronwyn Gillanders.

The new study published in Ecological Monographs investigates whether the elements found in the hard structural components of fish an tell us about the fish’s environment.

This paper was produced in collaboration with South Australia Research and Development Institute, Aquatic Sciences (SARDI), The University of Melbourne and The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

This work found correlations that some chemical elements found in hard structural tissue of fish can give an indication about environmental conditions. Chemical elements which were correlated to changes in the environment such as water temperature, salinity and season.

However, other chemical elements were found to be correlated to physiological changes such as age, sex and reproduction stage of the fish.

See the video below for a visual description of the information contained in fish earbones produced by Animate Your Science

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