Have you ever been enjoying your favourite fish dish when you crack a stone while chewing the head? Well I believe I’m correct when I say that at least anyone who eat fish has experienced that and it makes you wonder, for a thousand times, why fishes have stones in their head and whether it’s even their brain that you’ve just cracked and chewed.
Rest assured that it’s neither their brain or just any stone that you just chewed on but rather what we called otoliths, or ear stones.
Otoliths are calcium carbonate structures found beneath the brain of most fishes and they come from the water and the food eaten by the fish and that for most fishes, otoliths or ear stones are used for balance and hearing
And often times scientist used the stone to determine the age of a fish and have been carried in the pockets of some fishermen and sailors as a protective charms to keep them safe from storms.
Otoliths or ear stones also have been used to treat many different sickness conditions from malaria and jaundice to urinary infections, kidney and bladder stones, and even nosebleeds in some parts of the world.
But not all fishes have ear stone in their head as sharks and rays do not have them, so if you like sharks and rays you are free to go.