DescriptionRARE FOSSIL FISH ASPIRATION
Mioplosus labracoides, Diplomystus dentatus
Green River Formation, Wyoming
The term "aspiration" refers to those rare fossils where one creature has died and been preserved in the very act of eating another - an incredible snapshot in time preserved over millions of years. Despite the abundance of fish fossils found in the Green River Formation - over one million excavated since its discovery in the 1870's - even in this locality such fossils are extremely rare. The present example is a finely preserved specimen; the voracious ancient perch, Mioplosus, 4 inches long, has been choked to death by a juvenile Diplomystus, which protrudes 1½ inches from its gaping jaws. The fine detail of both fish's fragile bones is superb, and each bears a lovely warm dark brown coloring, in pleasing contrast to the pale limestone matrix, 6 3/8 x 8¾ inches.
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