HOME Fossil Locations WY Green River Fm, USA
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  WY Green River Fm

may 2006
Last Modified:
may 2006

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Location description

In the Green River formation in Wyoming (USA) large numbers of fossil fish are found. The fossils are from the Eocene (part of the Paleogene period). The Green River formation deposits are deposited during 2 milion years, 49.6 to 47.5 milion years ago.

The most common fish is Knightia sp.. These thin fish were maximum 25 centimetres, and lived from ostracods, algae and diatoms. They liver in sholes in freshwater lakes.

Every year the lakes evaporated completely, leaving the fish in the sediments. This proces was repeated many times.

Photo 1 of 5

Map of the area where the Green River Fm. is exposed.
Added by: webmaster on 22-03-2012

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The Green River formation can be found in the southwest of the American state of Wyoming. The size of the "Green River basin" is about 100 to 150 kilometres.

From Kemmerer you can book to search fossils yourself in quarries.

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Various fish species. The fish Knightia sp. is most common. K. branneri and K. alta are also found. The Green river formation is most famous for its fishes, but more fossils can be found: plants, insects, gastropods, bivalves, crustacea, birds, reptiles (crocodile, turtles, lizards and frogs) and landmammals (famous for its bats).

There are 3 photographs of fossils from this location in our Fossil ID System.
Go to the WY Green River Fm Species List to identify your own finds!

Literature recommended by members

  • Grande, L, 1980: Paleontology of the Green River Formation with a review of the fish fauna.
    Extensive review on the Green River formation faunas. For many species, this work is stil relevant. The publication is free to download on http://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/public-info/onlinepubs/docs/B-63.pdf (PDF, 25MB)
    Added by Frederik

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