7" Fossil Fish (Priscacara) - Beautiful Preservation

This is a stunningly preserved, 7" long, Priscacara serrata fish from the Green River Formation. It was collected from the Lindgren quarry near Kemmerer, Wyoming. It comes from the "bottom cap" of the 18 inch layer which produces the best preservation in the quarry but requires 2-3x longer to prepare due to the hardness of the rock. It is nicely centered on a 14.4 x 10.6" section of shale and associated with a fossil twig or reed.

Comes with a display stand. Upon request we can add a backing and wall mounting hardware to the plate.

Priscacara is an extinct, genus of temperate bass that lived during the Eocene. It is an uncommon species in the Green River Formation, representing less than 1% of the total fish fossils. It is a favorite among fossil collectors, particularly those specimens with all of their dorsal spines pointing upwards. It can occasionally reach impressive sizes in excess of 16 inches in length. Priscacara has a large mouth and impressive array of teeth can often be seen in detail on larger, well-preserved specimens.

Priscacara is more frequently found in shoreline lake deposits and less frequently found in rocks deposited in the center of the lake. It's appearance is very similar to that of Cockerellites, a genus of schooling fish found in large numbers in the mid-lake quarries. Cockerellites maxed out in the 5 to 6 inch range, so specimens larger than that are assumed to be Priscacara. Cockerellites have more dorsal and anal fin rays than Priscacara and a significantly smaller mouth.

50 million years ago, in the Eocene, these fish thrived in Fossil Lake, which was fed by 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 in 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.
Priscacara serrata
Lindgren Quarry, Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation - 18 Inch Layer
7" long on 14.4 x 10.6" rock
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