Diplomystus Aspiration - Fish Swallowing Fish
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Here is a world-class fossil fish "aspiration". In this unique specimen, a predatory Diplomystus dentatus is preserved swallowing its prey, a small fish of the same species.
Very rarely do you see such a clear example of an aspiration - with so much of the swallowed fish protruding, preserved this clearly. It's truly remarkable that this dynamic ecological event was frozen in time for millions of years!
Diplomystus is an extinct genus of herring. Its distinctive upturned mouth was well suited to nab small surface fish.
These fish swam in ancient Eocene lakes in Wyoming, USA, 50 million years ago. They were discovered in the famous Green River Formation, which is known to produce some of the most spectacular vertebrate fossils in the world.
Hours of painstaking work by a professional fossil preparator was needed to uncover the fine bones of this fossil from the stone.
The slab of stone measures 27" x 25" and the fossil specimen measures 21" from tail to tail.