Fish Green River Fossils

The majority of fish fossils are taken from the fossil lake area are from two layers. There are several commercial quarries operating in the green river formation.

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These eocene fossils were preserved in intermountain lake basins while the rocky mountains were still growing.

Fish green river fossils. A dozen fish species are commonly found plus insects shrimp frogs salamanders alligators turtles birds mammals and more than 325 kinds of plant fossils. The largest of these lakes was known as fossil lake. Green river fossil fish facts the green river formation records the sedimentation of a group of intermountain lakes in what is now present day wyoming colorado and utah.

The limestone matrix is so fine grained that fossils include rare soft parts of complete insects and fallen leaves in spectacular detail. Fish fossils of diplomystus and knightia are found in fossil lake but not in lake gosiute. Photos by the national park service fossil butte national monument.

One species knightia a small fish usually less than six inches in length. 1 the so called 18 inch layer. Dozens of fish species have been identified.

And 2 the spilt fish layer. More fish fossils have been found in the green river formation than any other single location in the world. Over 1 million fossilized fish have been found in these rocks since it was first discovered in the 1870s.

The green river formation of colorado utah and wyoming is one of the world s best locations for finding fossil fish. Fossil fish eating fish or aspiration from the green river formation. More than twenty two orders of insects are represented in the green river collection at the smithsonian institution in washington d c alone.

The green river formation is best known among paleontologists for its superbly preserved fossil fish. Some slabs of the green river formation contain hundreds of individual fish and likely represent an instantaneous die off.

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