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    Description

    Fossil Fish "Aspiration"
    Diplomystus dentatus
    Eocene
    Green River Formation
    Wyoming

    The vaunted Green River Formation is well-known for producing prolific and often quite incredible fossil fish specimens, including those of Diplomystus, an extinct freshwater genus distantly related to modern herring and sardines. This fine specimen, which also happens to be very large, is not only impressive for its size and quality, but a rare phenomenon known as an aspiration - the occurrence where a larger fish dies swallowing and choking on another smaller fish which ends up getting stuck in its throat - has been captured in this ancient scene. The predatory Diplomystus measures some 18 inches (45 cm) from tip to tail and exhibits excellent detail, with rich, dark fossilization and a fully articulated, raised spinal column. The mineralization of the bones and light colored matrix indicate this is from the famous "18 Inch" layer. The sizable fish has been preserved dining on its last meal of a smaller fish which is still partially outside the larger one's mouth. Both dark brown fossils stand in stark contrast to the extremely bleach white of the matrix brick in which they are entombed. The rectangular brick measures 27 inches (68.5 cm) wide and 16.5 inches (42 cm) long. The piece has been reinforced with a wood backing to bolster the matrix rock, and the work has been affixed with a metal cleat to allow for secure wall hanging of the specimen.
    Overall Measurements: 26.97 x 16.54 x 1.50 inches (68.50 x 42.00 x 3.80 cm)

    [Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]


    Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2016
    2nd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 642

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