13" Gorgeous Fish Fossil (Phareodus) - Wyoming

This is a beautifully preserved, 13" long fossil fish (Phareodus encaustus) from the Green River Formation of Wyoming. We collected it this past summer from the "bottom cap" of the 18 inch layer at the Lindgren Quarry near Kemmerer, Wyoming. This layer has the best preservation in the quarry but the stone is much harder to collect and takes 2-3x as long to prepare. The results are stunning though.

This stunning fish is nicely centered on a 21.7 x 13.4" slab of shale. The rock has been backed for stability and to make it easy to install wall mounting hardware.

Phareodus is a genus of predatory freshwater fish found in the famous Fossil Lake deposits of the Green River Formation in Wyoming. It had a mouthful of sharp pointy teeth, making it a voracious lake predator. In fact, the name Phareodus actually means "to have teeth". Spines from other fish such as Mioplosus and Priscacara have frequently been found preserved in their stomachs.

50 million years ago, in the Eocene, these fish thrived in Fossil Lake, which was fed by the Uinta and Rocky Mountain highlands. The anoxic conditions at the bottom of Fossil Lake slowed bacterial decomposition, prevented scavengers from disturbing corpses and, most interestingly, suffocated creatures that ventured into the oxygen-starved aquatic layer. The result is a miraculous exhibition of Eocene biota: a subtropical aquatic community within sycamore forests, teeming with creatures such as freshwater stingrays, dog-sized horses, menacing alligators, early flying bats, and one of the first primates.

A view of one of the commercial quarries where fossils from the Green River Formation are collected.
A view of one of the commercial quarries where fossils from the Green River Formation are collected.
Phareodus encaustus
Lindgren Quarry, Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation - 18 Inch Bottom Cap
13" long on 21.7 x 13.4" rock
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