Otoliths have a characteristic shape for each species of fish. Being bony, otoliths are not easily digested and as a result, they can show which fish make up the diet of various predators, including cephalopods, marine mammals, penguins and seabirds generally. In addition, otoliths have become the primary structure used for estimating fish age.
This book is intended as a laboratory guide and will allow users to accurately identify species and size of fish using otoliths. As such, it will be of use to ornithologists, marine scientists and marine mammal researchers studying stomach contents, as well as fisheries researchers and fish biologists studying age and growth or comparative anatomy. Each entry includes a written guide to identification and SEM photographs of the otolith. Main features presented for each species include brief distribution and ecology notes, regression for both otolith and fish lengths, and standardised description of the otolith structure, including size and surface features.