Garfish | Atractosteus simplex | Green River Formation | Wyoming
Plate approx. size: 32.75" x 24.75"
Gar fish approx. size: 26" long
This beautiful specimen has had absolutely no repair or restoration. An interesting feature of this specimen is that part of the spinal column is protruding through the scales. Usually you do not see the backbone on Gar fish because it remains buried beneath the scales.
We take great pride in hand selecting the best specimens out of our private quarry. Our Green River Formation specimens are all prepared using surgical grade microscopes and the very best fossil preparation tools available. We pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality specimens available.
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.
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. Their tough scales offer significant protection from would be predators.