Deep time fossil otoliths

Neogene otolith-based fish faunas from western Pacific

Neogene otoliths have been reported sporadically from many localities in the western Pacific region. However, the studies of fossil otoliths have long been concentrated in the European basins. The lack of fossil records in this region can be mainly attributed to the research effort. The project will set a pioneer baseline study to describe Plio-Pleistocene fish otoliths from the subtropical western Pacific and will be eventually expanded to related ages and regions. The aim is to address their taxonomy and biogeography and to further reveal when and how the shape of modern fish fauna was formed.

Firstly, it is widely considered that fish fossils are rare in Taiwan and adjacent areas, meaning we lack adequate data for understanding the geological history of marine biodiversity in the whole subtropical-tropical Indo-West Pacific. Recently, we have reviewed previous fish fossil records of Taiwan with updated stratigraphic correlation and further investigated potential horizons yielding new materials.

Our extensive literature reviews indicated that the number of fish body fossils remain scarce, though unstudied specimens gradually accumulate in the museums and private collections. The majority of the fish fossils are in the form of teeth (elasmobranch) and otoliths (teleost), and their high numbers in the marine deposits potentially allow further exploration. Using established examples, we thus recommend studying these isolated fish remains for attaining the spatiotemporal dynamics of fish faunas in the region and, finally, for providing the data necessary for conservational purposes. READ THE PAPER

Eocene otoliths from the US Gulf coast

The otoliths from the Eocene US gulf coast have been known for more than a century and is one of the most diverse otolith-based teleost faunas in the Eocene at a global scale. With the growing knowledge of Recent otoliths, an updated taxonomic overview on this fauna is needed. A huge collection (>15000 specimens), spanning through the entire Eocene and across several states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, etc.), deposited at Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels is currently been analyzed by myself. The purpose of this study is to describe the early record of several basal groups, to evaluate the fossil record and diversity of teleost lineages, and to understand the paleobiogeography and biostratigraphy through a comparison of other contemporaneous faunas.