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219

Stingray Skeleton Fossil

Stingray Skeleton Fossil

Stingray Skeleton Fossil

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Stingray Skeleton Fossil

Heliobatis radians

Early Eocene (approx. 52 million years ago)

Green River Formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming


18 by 8½ inches (45.7 x 21.6 cm). 22¼ by 13¼ by ¾ inches (56.5 x 33.6 x 1.9 cm) in matrix. 30 pounds (13.6 kg).


This well-preserved Heliobatis radians fossil skeleton displays its diagnostic round and compressed body, wide pectoral fins, and long, barbed tail. The specimen has been meticulously prepared in fine detail, exhibiting all major cartilaginous features. It rests on a rectangular-shaped rock plaque highlighted with soft tan and light gray tones.

To request a condition report for this lot, please email science@sothebys.com

Heliobatis is a extinct genus of freshwater stingray equipped with modified dermal denticles that form barbed stingers at the end of their long—up to half their total body length—tails. Their teeth are adapted for preying on other benthic and demersal zone creatures including mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish.


50 million years ago, Heliobatis made its living in Wyoming's Green River Formation, an area comprised of 25,000 square miles (40,000 km) of interconnected subtropical lakes. Today the area is known as the "Fossil Lake", boasting some of the most abundant and well-preserved freshwater fossils anywhere in the world, including the gorgeous Heliobatis specimen offered here.