DescriptionSUPERB MULTI-FISH PLAQUE
Priscacara liops, Priscacara serrata, Knightia eocaena, Knightia alta, Diplomystus dentata
Green River Formation, Wyoming
Known now as the "Fossil Lake", 50 million years ago the 25,000 square mile Green River Formation in Wyoming was an interconnected system of subtropical inland freshwater lakes. 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. This superb plaque displays something of that abundance and variety, with multiple examples of separate species, from the larval Diplomystus (2 7/8 inches long) to the fearsome looking full-grown version (18½ inches long). The predaceous Diplomystus is a relative of today's herring, with a distinctive upturned mouth bristling with teeth, ideally suited to surface-feeding. One of its most common prey was the smaller Knightia, also a relative of the herring and an abundant denizen of the Fossil Lake as well as Wyoming's official State Fossil. It is represented here by four K. eocaena and three of the smaller, fatter K. alta. Two species of Priscacara also roamed these waters, the P. liops which rarely exceeded 6 inches in length, and the P. serrata which is represented here by an 11¼-inch example. The notable aspect of all fossils from this locality is the superb state of preservation they display, and the incredible skill of the local preparators, perfectly exhibited by the present example. The fish all boast the superb detail of bone structure and texture familiar in these specimens, and their dark brown coloring stands out in striking contrast from the pale cream matrix; an outstanding display piece, it measures 39½ x 51¼ inches.
Estimate: $16,000 - $20,000.
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