Heliobatus radians, Mioplosus labracoides, Knightia eocaena
    Green River Formation, Lincoln Co., Wyoming, USA

    The area of Wyoming known today as the Fossil Butte National Monument was once part of a system of subtropical lakes, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna during the Eocene epoch. The fine-grained limestone of the formation records life in the area over a period of six million years, about 50 million years ago, and is regarded as producing some of the finest and most diverse fossils in the entire world. This beautiful plaque is a skilful representation of life in those waters, bringing together three separate species, including the extremely rare Heliobatus Stingray. Many of the aquatic animals that lived in the lakes of the Green River formation were descendants of marine species cut off from the oceans as the North American continents rose slowly from the primordial waters that covered much of the globe; this is how the traditionally ocean-dwelling Stingray found its way to these fresh waters. Like their modern-day descendants, they were placid bottom dwellers, the fearsome tail barbs providing an excellent deterrent to predators who might otherwise have enjoyed them as a tasty dinner. On the larger of these two examples those barbs are still visible in superb detail, along with the incredibly fine "wing" bones; indeed, all of these specimens display the characteristically world-class level of preservation and preparation typical of the finest fossils from this area. The larger Ray measures 9 inches wide and 16¾ inches long, and its smaller relative is 4¾ inches wide by 9 inches long. They are joined by three excellent specimens of the ancient Perch, Mioplosus, with excellent three-dimensionality to the bones and evocatively rendered scale detail, 10¼, 9¼ and 8¼ inches long. Completing the group are five and a half little sprat-like Knightia, abundant food for the lakes' many predators, and one rather larger version of the same, 8 inches long. All of the fossils have been artfully arranged in the pale creamy matrix with irregular perimeter, 64 x 22 inches.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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