DescriptionLARGE AND RARE MULTIPLE-SPECIMEN FOSSIL FISH TABLETOP
Diplomystus dentatus, Knightia sp.
Green River Formation, Wyoming
From the renowned Green River Formation in Wyoming, rich in fossil fish and other freshwater creatures, comes this unusually attractive tabletop slab, displaying a finely detailed Diplomystus measuring 16½ inches long, accompanied by two of the smaller, herring-like Knightia, the largest of which measures 5½ inches long. Most of the specimen plates from this location present the familiar deep-brown fossils on a pale characterless matrix, but the present example is one of far fewer excavated from the deeper, oil-rich strata of the formation. The swirling black patterns and the thin dark layers visible on the edges of this natural plaque are caused by the presence of kerogen, an oil shale known to the Ute Indians as "fire rock" and burnt by them for heating. The soluble portion of the shale is what we know as bitumen, and in a few more million years, the whole stone would have been transformed into oozing crude oil. The fossil fish displayed on this tabletop show the typically finely-detailed preservation familiar in specimens from this locale, and the whole tabletop measures 48 x 24 x 1 inches, with a 15 inch high ebonized steel base.
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