Shrinking fish: comparisons of prehistoric and contemporary salmonids indicate decreasing size at age across millennia
Leaniz, Carlos Garcia De
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A comparison of Upper Palaeolithic and contemporary salmonid vertebrae from the Iberian Peninsula indicates that there has been a significant decrease in the mean body size for a given age among Atlantic salmon and brown trout inhabiting the southernmost range of their endemic distribution. Mean size at age was greater in prehistoric specimens for all age classes during the freshwater phase of their life histories. Fisheries-induced evolution (selection for smaller sizes) is an obvious explanation for the observed reduction in fish body size, but recent changes in the aquatic habitat affecting density-dependent growth cannot be ruled out.
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