New World, Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA, Lower Eocene, ca. 50 million years ago. A well-presented example of a fossilized Diplomystus dentatus, a surface feeding fish often found with the fossils of other fish inside its stomach. Size: 14" L x 7" W (35.6 cm x 17.8 cm)
The Eocene world was the warmest of the Cenozoic (our current era), with an average mean temperature around 86 F (30 C) (for comparison, the average mean temperature in the last seventy years is around 58 F (14 C). Although the map of the Earth's surface would have been very recognizable to us today, with most of the continents in place and India moving close to its current position, there were basically no ice caps and huge swaths of the landscape were covered with water, including a vast inland sea in what is today central Asia. This ancient world was ruled by fish like the fellow preserved in this slab.
Provenance: private Hagar collection, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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