Eocene (52.3 Million Years Ago)
Green River Formation, Wyoming, USA
In Stone Fossils Private Quarry
Plate size approx: 13.5" x 26.25"
Phareodus size approx: 20.5"
This specimen was so well preserved, no restorative practices were necessary and was left exactly the way it was found after a fine layer of matrix was removed by microscopic fossil preparation.
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Bony-Tongue Fish - 2 Species Identified: Phareodus encaustus & Phareodus testis
Order Osteoglossiformes, Family Osteoglossidae
Living members of the Osteoglossidae family:
- include 10 modern species
- live exclusively in tropical freshwaters
- found in South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia
- mouth-brooders (parents hold eggs and hatchlings in their mouths)
- adult specimens usually found alone, but juveniles known from mass mortalities
- indicates that Phareodus schooled as a juvenile and became solitary as an adult
- often preserved with smaller fish in their jaws and stomach, indicating they were predators
- rearward oriented fins on back and underside, adaptation for speed
- large, sharp teeth
- max known size of P. encaustus: 30 inches
- max known size of P. testis: 20 inches