The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 3, 2013

Camel, horse fossils found in west Okla.

CHEYENNE — An oil company drilling in western Oklahoma has stumbled across a deposit of camel and horse fossils that date back roughly five million to 12 million years.

The fossils, which belong to an extinct species of camel and horse, were found in July in the Packsaddle Wildlife Management Area.

One of the fossils discovered is a well-preserved horse skull that is tinier than its present-day descendant.

A machine operator for Apache Corp., the Houston-based oil company drilling in Packsaddle, discovered the fossils after clearing away roughly 20 feet of earth. A team of paleontologists and archaeologists has uncovered 13 separate pits containing deposits of bones of varying sizes.

Scientists say the remains are typical prey animals of the Late Miocene period and are species that roamed what is now western Oklahoma in large numbers.

Nicholas Czaplewski, curator of vertebrate paleontology for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, said it could take years to sort through all of the fossils from the site.

At this point, it’s not clear what exactly scientists will gain from studying the fossils, but Czaplewski said the remains eventually will be compared with “known species” that have been found in the region.

“We also hope to learn more about the anatomy of the animals if their remains are complete enough,” he said. “For example, if we find teeth or skulls associated with other parts of the skeleton like leg and foot bones, then we can build a more complete knowledge of the animals than when we only find isolated fragments, as is more usual.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims

    Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected claims by two death row inmates that they’re entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them....

    April 24, 2014

  • Okla. House defeats bond issue to repair Capitol

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma House has defeated legislation that would authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the state’s nearly 100-year-old Capitol....

    April 23, 2014

  • Fallin signs bill for Okla. trooper raises

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill that would give Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers their first pay raise in seven years, although the pay increase won’t come unless money is included in a separate budget proposal....

    April 23, 2014

  • Smoke-out marks holiday

    DENVER — Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose legislation

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature dealing with training requirements for oral surgery dental assistants....

    April 20, 2014

  • Pork producer subsidiary plans to use compressed gas

    GUYMON — A subsidiary of Oklahoma pork producer Seaboard Foods has begun using trucks fueled by compressed natural gas to deliver biodiesel....

    April 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo