Rare Fish Eating a Fish
Phareodus encaustus, Mioplosus labracoides
Green River Formation, Wyoming
This spectacular presentation records an amazing event that took place over 50 million years ago. Known as an aspiration, the Phareodus was unable to swallow its prey, an ancient trout, Mioplosus, and eventually died with the immovable meal in its mouth. This is a rare event for any species of fish, but more so in the case of Phareodus. This ancient relative of the family Osteoglossidae, which includes the Piranha, is rarely found in this situation. With its needle-like teeth, this species is generally much more successful at ingesting its prey. The present Phareodus specimen is the largest example of its species ever found with a fish in its mouth, measuring nearly 22 inches. The trout ancestor that it has attempted to consume measures approximately 11 inches. One of the finest pieces from the Green River Formation of Wyoming documenting this rare event; the articulation of both specimens is notable.
Framed matrix measures 38 x 29 x 2in