• Assessing the Potential for Radiocarbon Dating the Scales of Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)

      James, Kelly M.; Fallon, Stewart J.; McDougall, Andrew; Espinoza, Tom; Broadfoot, Craig (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      We present a novel application for radiocarbon dating by aging 4 scales from a single large adult lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) from the Burnett River, in Queensland, Australia. The relict fish species lack a solid crystalline otolith, which precludes the use of the otolith annuli as a reliable age indicator. Previous attempts to age lungfish using a number of techniques have had only limited success. We report on ages obtained from the dense lamellar bone of the scale, which were isolated from the organic layers that thicken and subsequently obscure the 14C signal. Using the characteristics of the bomb curve, 2 parameter von Bertanalffy growth functions were fit, providing an estimate of absolute age to be ~65-70 yr. The information gleaned from this study will aid in assessing the population structure, and therefore management, of this vulnerable species.