Rare Juvenile Gar Atractosteus simplex | Green River Formation
Beautiful Rare Juvenile Gar Atractosteus simplex
Gars are one of the largest and rarest fish found in the formation. They were fierce predators, having a long, narrow mouth full of sharp teeth. It's preserved as a ventral view with the dorsal skull structure exposed to the top of the specimen.
This Gar specimen was found within the gastropod layers of the Green River Formation from our private quarry.
Plate approx: 14.5" x 7"
Gar fish approx: 13"
Gars - 4 Species Identified:
Lepisosteus bemisi & Atractosteus simplex & Atractosteus atrox & Masillosteus janei
Order Lepisosteiformes, Family Lepisosteidae
Seven living gar species are found in freshwaters of North America, Central America, and Cuba. Of the 4 Fossil Lake gar species, all but one are very similar to modern gars.
M. janei lacked the long jaw and sharp teeth characteristic of modern gars. M janei. teeth were instead rounded and flat, ideal for crushing small invertebrates like snails and crayfish. This gar species is primarily found in association with these fossil invertebrates.
Outside of the FBM, gar scales are much more common fossils than complete skeletons. The gars' characteristic, diamond-shaped scales have historically been used by humans as arrowheads and on protective breastplates. There tough scales offer significant protection from would be predators.
Modern gar species often migrate up rivers to spawn. This is one explanation for the lack of juvenile gar fossils found in the FBM.