Exceptional 13.5" Fossil Fish (Phareodus) - Wyoming

This is a superb 13.5" long example of one of the more uncommon fossil fish found in the Green River Formation, Phareodus. It is remarkably detailed and nicely presented on an 18 x 10.6" slab of shale. Just check out the closeup photos to see the detail in this magnificent specimen.

There are several repaired cracks running through the rock and the fish with some restoration along the crack repairs. There is also some restoration to the raised back bone of the back half of the fish. The shale it was on was thin so the rock has been backed with hardie board for stability and to make it easy to mount on a wall. We can install a french cleat wall hanger for no charge.

If you look closely you can see how Phareodus has a mouthful of sharp pointy teeth making it a voracious lake predator. In fact the name Phareodus actually means "to have tooth". Spines from other fish such as Mioplosus and Priscacara have frequently been found preserved in it's stomach.
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 testis
Fossil Safari Quarry, Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation
13.5" long on 18.5x12.8" rock
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