particular Green River fossil fish plate gives new meaning to the concept of "museum
quality", because, in fact, few museums exhibit such phenomenal fish. The
plate comes from a layer that the quarry operators call the "bottom capping".
You will see it has a bluish tint rather than the nominal tan. Bottom line is
that this layer is so much harder than the other layers that many operators don't
bother since micro-air abrasive prep takes so long that it is almost becomes cost-prohibitive.
However, the fish in this layer are also harder and better preserved - in short,
they are exquisite. There are four fish, the grandest of which is a monster 22
inch Phareodus. Phareodus encaustus come larger (up to some 30 inches), but they
come no better than this one. As seen in the close up, the teeth are breathtaking.
Especially, there is soft tissue preservation that rivals that from Messel, except
this fossil is in hard shale.
plate measures 34"x 33", and besides the Phareodus, there three other
magnificent fissil fish: a 15-inch Mioplosus, 6-inch Diplomystus and a small 2.5-inch