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One of the small calcareous particles found in the inner ear of many vertebrates, especially fishes, which are involved in determining body orientation and sometimes in perceiving sound.

o′to·lith′ic adj.


1. (Zoology) any of the granules of calcium carbonate in the inner ear of vertebrates. Movement of otoliths, caused by a change in position of the animal, stimulates sensory hair cells, which convey the information to the brain
2. (Zoology) another name for statolith1
ˌotoˈlithic adj


(ˈoʊt l ɪθ)

1. a calcareous concretion in the inner ear of lower vertebrates.


a stonelike concretion in the inner ear of some vertebrates, as the whale.
See also: Stones
References in periodicals archive ?
Norman Halden from the University of Manitoba developed the technique offish otolith microchemistry and the Yukon Research Centre, Access Consulting Group, and Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nation applied it on fish from the Keno Hill mining district.
The results of this study indicate that the sagittal otolith is the most appropriate structure for determining the age of American shad.
Previous work has validated daily otolith increment deposition in the Tidewater Goby (Hellmair 2010), and increments were assumed to be daily in the Arrow Goby.
The otolith collection, dating to the 1960s, had been sitting in an old Sand Point hangar belonging to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NO).
However, testing that involved counting the rings of the fish's otolith - essentially an ear bone - puts the age of Liebman's fish at 64.
If readers disagreed on age of an otolith, the otolith was later re-read by both observers together.
An otolith may identify the species of fish to which it belonged - should the fish itself no longer be available for examination.
In other studies with other fishes, vertebrae and otolith age readings gave similar results for the age of burbot, Lota lota, and thus both the structures were recommended for age and validation studies of the fish (Guinn & Hallberg, 1990).
Subsequently, a small granule of chalk may have formed in the canal, an otolith, and when you move your head this grain of chalk takes a few seconds to fall.
Dr Jayabalan will throw light on fisheries statistics, and concept of stock and population, maturation and spawning in fish and identification of maturity stages of fish (macroscopic scale/histology), estimation of gonado-somatic index (GSI) and length at first maturity while Laith Jawad will talk on principles of taxonomy of fishes, use of otolith and scale morphology in fish identification.
Founded in London in 2002 by artists and cultural theorists Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar, the Otolith Group (a 2010 Turner Prize nominee) examines the nature of human memory and perception through a mesmerizing array of films, texts, and media-related activities.
Angela de la Cruz and The Otolith Group were the other artists in the running for the award.