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" ... Scientists use fish ear stones, or otoliths, to estimate a fish's age in a way that is similar to ... [+] aging trees using their rings. ... "
" ... “How old do sharks get up to?” is a frequent question a shark scientist gets asked from the public. There are over 500 different species of sharks, and so the answer varies if we know it. However, many times the answer is “we don’t know” because it’s quite hard to measure! For some fish, scientists can examine the ear bones (otoliths) to determine the animal’s age. When sectioned the otoliths show a pattern of rings, like those rings one can see in a tree, that can then be counted. Larger fish are often trickier since they can be so long-lived that counting rings becomes nearly impossible. Not to mention sharks, skates, and rays lack otoliths and have their age calculated from growth bands formed in the vertebrae (similar to those the otolith rings). So how are these predators aged? Enter radiocarbon dating. ... "