Rare Heliobatis radians Stingray Fossil from Green River

Heliobatis radians

Order Rajiformes, Family Dasyatidae (Common name; stingray or skate)

Geological Time: Eocene

Size: mm (25.4mm=1 inch): Matrix: 475 by 340 mm; Ray 390 by 190 mm (15.4 inches in length)

Fossil Site: Green River Formation, Wyoming

Heliobatis radians Stingray FossilThis is an exquisite, museum quality Stingray specimen from the Green River Formation of Wyoming. This is a male Heliobatis radians (Order: Rajiformes; Family: Dasyatidae), at once a rare and highly sought species, and the only species of ray from this formation. The preservation is superb and the preparation is the best there is. Note in the pictures the details in the ray tips and the barbs (see the many pictures below). Heliobatis is highly sought not only for the rarity, but because a specimen such as this makes for an awesome display.

Rays belong to the Chondrichtyes fish group, as do sharks that have an inner skeleton made of cartilage. Since cartilage comprises more organic material (collagen and elastic tissues) than bone, it decays more rapidly. Thus, fossils of cartilaginous fishes generally are rare. Cartilaginous fishes are also noted for well-developed, paired pectoral and pelvic fins, and powerful jaws with teeth.

The cartilaginous fishes appeared in Silurian time, and their ancestors remain one of the most successful groups of marine animals.


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