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Earlier this month I got the opportunity to return to one of my Permian fossil sites that I haven't visited since around April. The site is located in McClain County in central Oklahoma south of OKC. According to a geological map the majority of the area consists of the Wellington Formation, however the bottom of the exposed area is shown to be apart of the Stillwater Formation. According to scientific publications the only fossil producing layer is mentioned as belonging to the Wolfcamp (296.4 to 268 Ma) particularly the Gearyan strata. I've spent multiple trips earlier this year searching the layer mentioned as being the fossil producing layer but have only found plant impressions. Which I'll post some time in the future. Out of the entire outcrop though, I have only been able to find vertebrate remains in one particular spot. An area that appears to be below the known fossil producing layer.


On this trip though, I only spent about 4 hours searching the site because I also had plans to visit family for dinner. Overall, I feel I had a pretty good half day trip.


Below are some pictures of the vertebrate remains I surface collected on this trip. I must admit I haven't dedicated any real time to trying to identify the various species from the site yet and have only cleaned the material upon returning back home. But just looking through them while laying them out for pictures, there appears to be Eryops, Edaphosaurus, Diplocaulus, a small Captorhinid as well as an Xenacanthus shark. I've been collecting and cleaning the vertebrate remains from this particular site since March of this year but have focused the majority of my attention towards collecting, prepping and identifying fossils from a different site/formation here with in Oklahoma.

 

All the following pictures are from my most recent fossil hunting trip.


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 ⬆️ Overall view of the site.

 


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⬆️ Quick separation of the bone fragments into various piles.

 


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⬆️ Teeth, mostly Eryops megacephalus.

 


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⬆️ Xenacanthus shark teeth.

 


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⬆️ Jaw fragments, larger fragments appear to be Eryops megacephalus.

 


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⬆️ Small jaw fragment with 2 or 3 teeth, possibly belonging to Diplocaulus.

 


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⬆️ Large vertebrae fragments.

 


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⬆️ Small sized vertebrae, the top row appear to be Diplocaulus.

 


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⬆️ Edaphosaurus sail spine sections, a couple fragments might not be from an Edaphosaurus but were placed in the grouping during a quick sort of all the fragments.
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⬆️ Various skull fragments, Eryops megacephalus, Diplocaulus and possibly Diadectes along the top row.

Diadectes were one of the two species initially identified from the site along with a temnospondyl according to the research papers I read. I have had a difficult time finding clear close up images of the surface of a Diadectes skull.

That is, at least from a legitimate scientifically described specimen that hasn't had the majority of the skull restored.

 


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⬆️ These two pieces are the largest of the fragments that I suspect might belong to a Diadectes.

 

 

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⬆️ Small limb bone fragments.

 


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⬆️ Possible coprolites.

 


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⬆️ Last but not least, concretions with bone fragments. At least one of the larger pieces has multiple vertebrae and portions of ribs. One small piece has what appears to be a section of jaw with 2 teeth still in place. One piece even has the exposed bases of a small Captorhinid jaw, showing atleast 3 rows of teeth. Interestingly, not all that far away in the next county over in Cleveland county near Norman there's a site that has produced the remains of Captorhinikos chozaensis and Captorhinikos parvus.

 

Exactly what species this particular jaw fragment is from I have no idea. But I'm hoping when I do dedicate the time to identifying the species from this site, I will be able to find enough bone fragments from similar sized Captorhinid remains that I can get a general idea of what species inhabited the site.

 

 

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⬇️ For these next pictures I used my loop and did the best I could at holding the specimen while also holding the loop still and then also holding my phone up to the loop and still managing to press the take a picture button on my phone.

All while trying to hold still so the pictures did not come out blurry.

The picture quality is poor but I hope in the future to invest in a digital microscope with a viewing screen.

 

 

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⬆️ I suspect this might be the exterior of a jaw with two teeth still remaining in the jaw. The possible teeth are along the bottom of the fragmented red/white bone. 

 

 

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⬆️ Captorhinid fragment showing just the base of at least 3 rows of teeth. The broken teeth are the reddish and black donut shapes.

 

 

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⬆️ This is the small concretion with the Captorhinid teeth. The teeth are located in the bottom goldish blurry blob. You can kinda make out one broken tooth in the top right corner of the goldish blur blob.

 

 

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One particular fragment looks to have enamel like a tooth but the fragment is oddly shaped and large if it is a tooth. Does anyone possibly recognize what it might be? The only possible species I can think of if it was a tooth fragment is Diadectes.

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The fragment is also shown in the grouping of teeth posted above.

The reference for size in the pictures is 1 cm per block.

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Whenever I see stratigraphy like that I get excited at the fossil possibilities

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Very interesting trip report and finds. 

Thanks for sharing. :)

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Fascinating! I look forward to your reports on the other areas and fossils you are working on. 

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hadrosauridae

GReat finds!  You have a wonderful spot that deserves a lot of exploration.  The Permian in Oklahoma is very sparse in its fossil bearing locations.  The Wellington (as I'm sure you know) extends from Kansas to Texas.  It is generally considered low producing but can have very dense concentrations of vert material. My understanding is that these spots are likely river deltas that had a large amounts of material wash into them and deposited  in localized lenses.  There are also areas of unconformity in the layers especially towards the edges of formations.  I'm certainly no expert but I think you have to consider a large range of vert animals in your list of possible species.  Trimerorhachis,  Edaphasaurus, Dimetrodon, Diplocaluas, and more.  

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Thanks deutscheben, fossilhunter21 and Tidgy's Dad. 

I'm the same way Hemipristis, any time I pass features like those while driving I drop a pin on my google maps and when I get home I start trying to figure out which house might be the land owners house.

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hadrosauridae
1 minute ago, PermianOkie said:

Thanks deutscheben, fossilhunter21 and Tidgy's Dad. 

I'm the same way Hemipristis, any time I pass features like those while driving I drop a pin on my google maps and when I get home I start trying to figure out which house might be the land owners house.

 

Get the app called "On X". Its a hunting oriented app, but it gives you landowner information for anything you want.  You have to subscribe by state (or nationally) but a single state is cheap.  Something like $20 a year.

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Thank you and I completely agree hadrosauridae, the list of possible species can be extensive. That's kinda one reason I haven't focused yet on trying to identify the species from this spot and have been focusing on a different formation but still like to make occasional collecting trips enable to recover any fossils before they get eroded and degraded away.

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5 minutes ago, hadrosauridae said:

 

Get the app called "On X". Its a hunting oriented app, but it gives you landowner information for anything you want.  You have to subscribe by state (or nationally) but a single state is cheap.  Something like $20 a year.

Wow that would be extremely helpful, thank you. I have never heard of that app before.

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hadrosauridae

Your teeth and vertebra fossils would probably be the best indicator of the species in your spot, but the problem is that there isnt widespread information available like exists for the later "dinosaur" fossil formations.  A lot of my attempts at research have ended at paywall / subscription sites.  

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Just posting a reminder to myself to give you the rundown of what you have here. Some nice bits and pieces!

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Here are some better images of some of the fragments.

 

⬇️ Skull fragments

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⬇️ Another fragment from different angles.

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⬇️ This particular fragment I believe is a skull fragment from a Diplocaulus.

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⬇️ Another possible skull fragment

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⬇️ Now for some vertebae material

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⬇️ another partial vertebra 

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⬇️ This particular vertebra is heavily encrusted.

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⬇️ This particular fragment I believe could possibly be an osteoderm. I haven't attempted to confirm that assumption though.

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The broad ribs on that last one look a little lysorophian to me.

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5 hours ago, jdp said:

The broad ribs on that last one look a little lysorophian to me.

Thank you I greatly appreciate the info.

 

22 hours ago, hadrosauridae said:

Your teeth and vertebra fossils would probably be the best indicator of the species in your spot, but the problem is that there isnt widespread information available like exists for the later "dinosaur" fossil formations.  A lot of my attempts at research have ended at paywall / subscription sites.  

Researchgate, Academia, and Archive (Internet Archive 25) have produced the most pdfs for myself. Archive is great for early 1900s publications when you type in just a genus name. Researchgate is probably my favorite but you have to get creative in search terms and then also look at recommend papers listed below the previewed pdf at the bottom of the screen. 

I also like the site reptile evolution for skeletal images and occasionally there is a direct like to download pdfs at the bottom of the page pertaining to the species mentioned on the page.

I'm constantly downloading pdfs regarding Permian and Triassic species.

Edited by PermianOkie
Accidentally submitted before finishing what I was writing.
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Congrats on finding such a productive site.  You have some awesome finds there.  Your success motivates me!  
 

I am in Central OK, too.  I have a laundry list of Permian sites mentioned in various research papers that I’ve been investigating one by  one... so far to no avail.  Creeping suburbia has taken over quite a few and quite a few others are on private property.  Youir finds, though,  make me eager to put keep looking.  Thanks for sharing!!

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