4.4" Priscacara Fossil Fish From Wyoming

Here is a very beautiful and elegant fossil fish from the Green River Formation, a Cockerellites liops. It shows great preservation and detail and is presented nicely in the middle of large rectangular slap of natural matrix. The matrix is approximately 12x10" and quite solid. We will cut the matrix down to a custom size for no charge upon request if you desire something smaller (which will also reduce shipping costs).

It was collected from the 18 inch layer which produces much darker and well defined fish fossils than the split fish layers. When the fish are found in this layer they are completely covered with rock, which must be professionally removed using hand tools, a process that takes many hours.

Priscacara is an extinct genus of perch from the Eocene (55.8-33.8 mya) Fossils of these fish are commonly found in the Green River Formation in Wyoming. Priscacara probably darted about freshwater streams and lakes, snatching at small creatures like snails, crabs, prawns, and tadpoles.

They varied in size; for example, P. liops is a smaller species, never exceeding 150 mm, whereas the larger P. serrata has been found up to 375 mm. Priscacara means, “Primitive head”. These tough looking, ray-finned fish packed a punch if something dared to swallow it. The genus is known for its protective dorsal and anal spines.

50 million years ago, Priscacara thrived in lakes fed by Uinta and Rocky Mtn. highlands. This plucky genus of perch, possibly related to modern-day Cichlids, is now entombed in the fine-grained, lime mud of Fossil Lake. Priscacara eventually went extinct by the end of cooler and drier Miocene (23-5.2 mya).

Today the wonderfully-preserved fossils of Priscacara and other Fossil Lake fauna are collected in several private quarries around Kemmerer, Wyoming. The best preserved fish fossils come from the coveted 18 inch layer. This layer is collected at night under high-powered lights allowing the faint signs of fish under the surface to be more easily observed. These “ghosted” fish then must go through many hours of manual preparation to remove the overlying rock and reveal the Green River fauna in all of its glory.
Cockerellites liops
Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation
4.4" long, Matrix 12x10"
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