5.2 Inch Fossil Priscacara From 18 Inch Layer

This is a nice 5.2 inch specimen of the very elegant looking Cockerellites liops from Wyoming. It was collected from the 18 inch layer of the Green River Formation which yields the best, dark colored preservation. Fossils from this layer are much more valuable than the ligher colored ones from the "split fish" layers.

The 5 inch Priscacara displays wonderful detail, with all the fins, spines and bone structure present. It is centered on a large rectangularly shaped slap of shale. This is really a great display specimen of probably the most aesthetically pleasing fish from the famous Green River Shale.

The matrix on this fish was broken in shipping from the supplier and glued back together, hence the reduced price.

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. It was originally 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 to 20 percent of the fish unearthed, depending on the layer. It is considerably rarer in shoreline deposits, representing only 1 to 2 percent of the fish found. Because of this, Cockerellites is thought to have been a schooling fish. Fossils have been found at a maximum size of about six inches, but they rarely exceed 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, since Cockerellites did not exceed 6 inches while Priscacara serrata is typically found in excess of 6 inches. Cockerellites also has more dorsal and anal fin rays than Priscacara and a much smaller mouth.
Cockerellites liops
Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation
5.2" long on 9.5x6 plate
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