Double Priscacara Liops From Wyoming

 
This is a very aesthetic fossil fish plate from Wyoming. It has two similar sized Priscacara 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.

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.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Priscacara liops
LOCATION
Kemmerer, Wyoming
FORMATION
Green River Formation
SIZE
Both fish 4.8" long, plate 16x7.5"
CATEGORY
ITEM
#1325
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