Mr. Wallace L. Ulrich Brought Fish Fossil Gifts to Mr. Meng Qingjin
Mr. Wallace Ulrich, Acting Director and State Geologist of Wyoming State Geological Survey, paid a visit to BMNH on March 4, 2011 and brought two exquisite fish fossils from the North America as gifts.
One fossil is a Priscacara, an extinct genus of perch from the Eocene, commonly found in the Green River Formation in Wyoming. As seen from its form, the Priscacara’s body is shaped like an oval with sharp spines at the back and belly for defense and small teeth on both jaws. This fish probably lived in freshwater streams and lakes, feeding on small creatures like snails, crabs, prawns, and tadpoles.
The other is a Diplomystus, distantly related to modern-day extant herrings. From the Cretaceous and Eocene, it is distributed in South and North Americas. A Diplomystus had a cercopod at the tail part as well as distinctive dorsal fins and anal fins. Besides, the fish also had a retrousse mouth, showing that it probably preyed on the water surface. What is most extraordinary about this specimen is that there is a Knightia near the mouth of the Diplomystus, an occasion that not only shows the feeding pattern of the Diplomystus but also records the preying scene. This fossil is very valuable for both scientific studies and collection.