Double Priscacara Liops From Wyoming

This is a very aesthetic fossil fish plate from Wyoming. It has two similar sized Cockerellites liops naturally associated next to each other. The plate is approximately 16x7 1/2 inches and has been backed with plywood both to stabilize it and make it easier to mount.

The plate comes from "18 inch layer" of the Green River Formation near Kemmerer, Wyoming. Fish from these layers are much darker in color than the more common "split fish" and completely buried underneath the surface of the rock when collected. Preparing a plate like this would have required many hours of tedious work under magnification. You won't see many plates more displayable than this for sale.

Cockerellites liops is a species of extinct temperate bass found in the Eocene aged Green River Formation of Wyoming. It is characterized by a sunfish-like body and its stout dorsal and anal spines. Originally it was placed in the Priscacara genus but was moved to the newly created genus Cockerellites by D. Jordan and H. Hanibal in 1923. There is still some debate among researchers about whether this new genus is valid.

Cockerellites is found in large numbers in mid-lake deposits, representing 5-20% of the fish unearthed (depending on the layer). It's considerably rarer in shoreline deposits, representing 1-2% of the fish found. Because of this, Cockerellites is thought to have been a schooling fish. They are known to attain a maximum size of about six inches, but rarely exceeds five inches in length.

At first glance Cockerellites liops has a very similar appearance to the rarer species, Priscacara. Size can often be used as a differentiator as Cockerellites did not exceed 6 inches while Priscacara serrata is typically found in excess of 6 inches. Cockerellites also had more dorsal and anal fin rays than Priscacara and a much smaller mouth.
Cockerellites liops
Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation
Both fish 4.8" long, plate 16x7.5"
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