The Diversity of Fish Otoliths, Past and Present gives an actualised overview of the taxonomy and external morphology of fossil and recent fish otoliths, based on research done by the author in the last 45 years.
The text includes:
1 – An introductory section, with a historical and nomenclatural overview, and with special emphasis on the great impact of otoliths for evaluating the fossil record of teleostean fishes.
2 – A systematic overview (with iconography) of the 1391 fossil species considered to be valid, and of all Recent species for which otoliths have been found as fossil. For every species, the stratigraphic and geographic origin of the type material is given, and where available, also the collection numbers and depository of the holotype. Fossil species based on skeletons with otoliths in situ, but which do not have exclusively otolith-based primary types, are also included.
3 – An alphabetic list of all the 1797 nominal otolith-based fossil fish species, with an evaluation of their validity and their actualized nomenclature.
The 395 plates show otoliths of over 2000 fossil and Recent fishes, often with growth or variability series. More than 50% of the species are illustrated by newly made drawings, with many of the fossil ones directly drawn from the holotypes. For many of the Recent families, the otoliths are illustrated here for the first time.
The Diversity of Fish Otoliths, Past and Present is not only of interest for otolith paleontologists and archeozoologists, but also for all those interested in the fossil record and first appearances of fish taxa, the interrelationships of fishes, and the study of feeding behaviour of predators, like marine mammals and birds, through analysis of their stomach content and rejection pellets.