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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Zoltán Kern, Miklós Kázmér, Tamás Müller, András Specziár, Alexandra Németh, and Tamás Váczi

Microscopic inclusions have been observed in 7 out of 106 European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) sagittae using polarizing microscope and scanning electron microscope meanwhile the annual increments were studied to characterize the age structure of the population living in Lake Balaton. The presence of vaterite, a rare calcium carbonate polymorph was observed in these inclusions using Raman spectroscopy. Vateritic sagittae in wild fish are usually considered as symptom of physiological stress. The observed fusiform inclusions represent a new morphological type of vaterite inclusions in eel otolith. Two alternatives are hypothesized to explain their formation: 1) metabolic disorder, such as erroneous protein synthesis; 2) introduction of an alien protein into the eel’s inner ear. The origin and physiological significance of this new morphological type of vateritic inclusions is still an open question. Same as whether it can be found in other species or specific only to eel otoliths.

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