A RARE FOSSIL PADDLEFISH
Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA
Displayed on its original limestone matrix measuring 24 ¼ x 48 ¼ x 3 inches (61.6 x 122.6 x 7.6 cm).
Paddlefish are the rarest described fish found in the abundant Green River Formation in Wyoming and are usually represented by incomplete specimens. Like sharks, paddlefish are rarely found in the fossil record due to their mostly unossified bodies, consisting mainly of cartilage and notochordal tissue. As such, they are rarely fossilized unless immediately and completely covered by a layer of silt, otherwise the cartilage and organic tissue that comprises much of their anatomy decomposes far too rapidly to be preserved.
The present specimen is one of the largest ever collected and boasts a well-articulated body with fine detail as many of the small scales can be seen. Though approximately 10% of the body has been restored, the skull is in excellent preservation with some color enhancements needed to the long slender snout.
Private Florida collection