Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Allen H. Andrews, Ph.D.

Moss Landing Marine Laboratories

Lead-Radium and Bomb Radiocarbon Dating:
Determination of Age, Growth and Lifespan of Marine Fishes and Invertebrates

Wednesday - August 5, 2009

Pacific Forum – 3:00 p.m.

Lead-radium dating of fishes and bomb radiocarbon dating of fishes and invertebrates have been refined since their introduction and applied to numerous marine organisms throughout the world. Technological advances in trace metal chemistry and mass spectrometry have created conditions that circumvent assumptions that were previously necessary in lead-radium dating. This was epitomized by the story behind orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) age validation. Determining the age of orange roughy has proved complicated. Age validation methods have been applied, but differences in lifespan estimates remain an unresolved issue. Centenarian age estimates were supported in an early lead-radium dating study, but necessary assumptions associated with lead-radium dating at the time led to disbelief. An improved lead-radium dating technique that provided support for a centenarian lifespan will be discussed.


Next: August 20 (Thursday) — Intern Symposium