knightia-thumb

Knightia eocaena

Knightia was a secondary consumer, feeding mainly on algal forms and diatoms, as well as some smaller fish.  They were schooling fish, and because of this they are frequently found together in mass mortality layers.  Length normally 5″ to 7″

 

diplomystus-thumb

Diplomystus dentatus

The Diplomystus is a non-clupeoid clupeomorph fish distantly related to modern-day extant herrings, alewifes, and sardines.  They commonly preyed on small fish such as Knightia.  Length normally 5″ – 8″ or 16″ – 20″

 

mioplosus-thumb

Mioplosus labracoides

The Mioplosus is the ancient fish in our quarry that most resembles the modern day trout.  Length normally ranges from 10″ to 18″.

 

notogoneous-thumb

Notogoneous osculus

Typically, this fish fed on plants and decaying animals on the lake bottom.  Few young have been found in Fossil Lake, suggesting that it spawned in streams and its fry developed there.  Length typically 20″.

 

phareodi-thumb

Phareodus encaustus, Phareodus testis

Sharp teeth indicate that this fish was a piscavore (fish eater).  In fact, remains of Mioplosus and Priscacara are often found in their stomaches.  The long pectoral fins of adults may extend for a third of their length.  Length from 12″ to 26″.

 

priscacaradae-thumb

Priscacara liops, Priscacara serrata

Masses of P. liops have been found, suggesting they formed schools. P. serrata, with rounded, crushing teeth suggesting it ate shrimp and crayfish, was much larger than P. liops.  Length normally 5″ – 6″.

 

stingray-thumb

Heliobatis radians

The stingray is usually found in seawater, but a few living freshwater species are known. They fed on the bottom in shallow water.  Length up to 18″.

 

paddlefish-thumb

Crossopholis magnicaudatus

A cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays, the fossils have no distinct backbone. Occasionally the rostrum (snout), skull, and fins ossified (turned bony) enough to be preserved. Length 20″ to 30″.

turtle-thumb

 

Turtle – Trionyx

Turtles are extremely rare in the Green River deposits.  The turtle pictured was a soft shell Trionyx, similar to but much larger than modern species.

 

 

aspiration-thumb

Aspiration

An extremely rare occurrence, occurred when a predatory fish ate prey that was too large and became lodged in its throat.

 

Browse Fossils