Diplomystus dentatus & Priscacara serrata
    Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA

    The 25,000 square mile Green River Formation in Wyoming, known as the "Fossil Lake", was an interconnected system of inland freshwater lakes teeming with life 35-55 million years ago; today it is one of the most abundant and well-preserved sources of freshwater fossils in the world, producing some 19 genera of fish from the Eocene epoch along with stingrays, bats, birds, reptiles, insects and mammals, as well as rare and beautiful examples of the flora that adorned the shoreline. The other notable characteristic of fossils form this region, aside from the diversity and abundance, is their superb presentation, due in part to the circumstances of their formation, but also in no small measure to the skill of the preparators working the specimens recovered from this location. Against the backdrop of such a reputation, the present example stands out as an exceptionally finely detailed and presented double fish plaque, showcasing two of the familiar aquatic inhabitants of the Fossil Lake: A 10¼-inch long predaceous herring, Diplomystus, is immediately identified by its upturned mouth, heavy head and traces of fearsome teeth; accompanying it is a 7¾-inch long Priscacara serrata, a relative of the modern Chichildae (its prehistoric cousin in the Green River area was the P. liops, considerably more common in these waters, but recognizably smaller than the P. serrata). Both specimens exhibit exceptionally fine and three-dimensional bone detail, and boast gorgeous dark coloring ranging from almost black to a deep red-brown. They swim placidly across the pale 39½ x 21½-inch limestone matrix, the surface of which has been left with certain natural irregularities which add to the aesthetic appeal. The complete specimen is attractively framed and ready for hanging.

    Estimate: $1,500 - $2,000.

    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. 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 Dates
    January, 2009
    18th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 591

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