Body length estimation of the European eel Anguilla anguilla on the basis of isolated skeletal elements

Thieren E., Wouters W., Van Neer W., Ervynck A.

Published date: December 2012
Volume: 36
Number: 4
Pagination: 551–562
Publisher: société Française d’Ichtyologie

Using a large series of dry skeletons of modern European eel Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) from Belgium and the Netherlands, the relationship between fish length and individual bone measurements is investigated. The aim of the study is to provide adequate regression equations between both parameters. This methodology is relevant for both palaeoecological and ecological researches since isolated skeletal elements survive in large numbers on archaeological sites and in the stomach contents, faeces or regurgitations of piscivorous animals. The predictive value for the length estimations is explored for various skeletal elements and the accuracy of the obtained regression formulae is compared to that of the formulae already existing in literature. Particular attention is paid to the use of vertebrae, taking into account that different morphotypes can be distinguished amongst them.

Keywords: Anguilla anguilla - Archaeozoology - Body length estimations - Ecology - European eel - Osteometry
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