16.8" Fossil Gar (Lepisosteus) From Wyoming - Spectacular Scales!

Gars are one of the largest and rarest fish found in the Green River Formation. Lepisosteus was a fierce predator, having a long, narrow mouth full of teeth. They also had large, thick scales which are beautifully preserved in this specimen. This stunning specimen is on the small side at 18.3" in length, and is nicely centered on a 16.8 x 7.2" slab of shale which has been backed with wood for easy mounting. Upon request, we can attach wall mounting hardware to the wood.

This specimen was found via cross-section, so there is a repaired crack that runs diagonally through the fish that's about 7.5" from the caudal fin. Four of the scales have been restored along the ventral side of the fish at the spot of repair. The anal fin has been entirely restored, along with portions of the head (upper right side and lower left jaw). The restoration is best viewed under short-wave ultraviolet light.

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.
Lepisosteus sp.
Lindgren Quarry, Kemmerer, Wyoming
Green River Formation
16.8" long (around curve) on 18.8 x 7.2" rock
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