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The distinction of isolated bones from plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), flounder (Platichthys flesus) and dab (Limanda limanda): a description of the diagnostic characters
Wouters, W.; Muylaert, L.; Van Neer, W. (2007). The distinction of isolated bones from plaice (Pleuronectes platessa), flounder (Platichthys flesus) and dab (Limanda limanda): a description of the diagnostic characters. Archaeofauna (Madr.) 16: 33-95
In: Archaeofauna (Madrid). Asociación Española de Arqueozoología: Madrid. ISSN 1132-6891, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Osteology; Pleuronectidae Rafinesque, 1815 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Archaeozoology

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Abstract
    The osteology of 38 skeletal elements is investigated in plaice, dextral and sinistral flounder, and dab with the aim of defining diagnostic characters that allow species identification of isolated bones from archaeological excavations. Five of these 38 skeletal elements have been mentioned in the literature as being diagnostic, but they appear to be unreliable for identification. All other elements allow identification, although only 23 permit the recognition of all three species. The individual bone elements and their diagnostic criteria are depicted and described in detail. Attention is paid to individual variation, and, when relevant, size-related morphological changes are also described. The keys that are developed for the various elements are finally tested on a large flatfish bone assemblage from an archaeological site. On the basis of these results, the success rate of the identifications for the various bones is discussed. Possible strategies for identification work on this group are suggested that take into account the extent of the reference collection, the time spent on the identifications and the experience needed in comparative osteology of these flatfish.

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