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Purchased Fish


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A local rocks, minerals, and fossils store recently went under some renovations and increased in size by quite a lot.

However, according to the employees, lots of the fossil identification/location information was somehow lost during the remodeling, and so they were selling off many of their fossils for cheap to clear room for new inventory. Plus there was a good sale on fossils going on.


As the title states, I purchased this fish because I thought it looked interesting, but I was wondering if anyone here had any idea of what it might be. 

Secondly, are there any guides for identifying fossil fish that would be relatively easy for a beginner to read? There were a lot of other unidentified fish there I would have bought, if I had some general idea of what they were. But I'm super new to this and I don't really know where to look for information. 


A good majority of the fish that still were labeled said they were from the Green River Formation, if that helps at all. Ruler is in inches. Thanks in advance for the help!




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  • Kane changed the title to Purchased Fish

@oilshale  is more of a fish expert than I am. I am an interested amateur.  ;) 


This is very difficult to ID, as the identifying characteristics are missing. 
Head, fins, and tail are crucial to identifying fish. 


That said, it may be a Rhacolepis buccalis

I am basing this on the scale patternation visible on the flank of the fish. 


As far as fish fossil identification, the "Bible" is  Fossil Atlas Fishes, by Karl Albert Frickhinger. 

It is costly, but a must for serious fish fossil collectors. 


You can also always take pictures at the shop, and bring them here for identification.  ;) 


Also, this PDF is helpful for Green River Fish. 



Cropped, brightened, and rotated: 





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Thanks for the info and for the resources you linked. I definitely see what you are saying about why this is very difficult to identify. If it would help at all, I could take some sharper close up pictures of any parts of the fish.

Thanks again.

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I don't think other photos are going to help. But maybe Thomas (oilshale) will chime in. 

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3 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

Also, this PDF is helpful for Green River Fish. 

Great resource! Thanks for posting it!

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I think Tim with Rhacolepis buccalis may be onto something.



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