Otoliths reveal environmental conditions 20,000 years ago

Otoliths are small deposits of calcium carbonate found in the ears of most animals. In fish they grow large and the trace elements within them can be used to reveal information about environmental conditions when they formed. PhD candidate Kelsie Long from the Research School of Earth Sciences describes her work at Lake Mungo, the World heritage site in NSW where ancient human remains were found in the 1960s and 1970s. Her work investigating fish otoliths dated to 20,000 years from Lake Mungo should help paint a picture of environmental conditions and human occupation at the time.

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