Common Fossils in Oklahoma

Fossils are evidence of plants and animals that lived in past geologic times and are preserved today In stone. The ancient shallow seas that once covered much of Oklahoma teemed with animal life. Many of these marine organisms are preserved as fossils in the sedimentary rocks (rocks formed from the sediments of oceans and rivers) of Oklahoma. Some of the general forms are illustrated below. Read More

The Oklahoma State Fossil

April 14, 2000 the Oklahoma Legislature declared Saurophaganax Maximus to be the State Fossil of Oklahoma. This spectacular dinosaur, the “greatest king of reptile eaters”, once roamed this great land. It is only known from Oklahoma and has surpassed the “king of the dinosaurs”, Tyrannosaurus Rex , as the greatest predator of earth’s history.

Oklahoma State Fossil - Saurophaganax Maximus

Saurophaganax Maximus

Skeletal remains of this dinosaur were first found by University of Oklahoma fossil hunters in Cimarron County. In 1931 and 1932 paleontologist John Willis Stovall uncovered remains of a large theropod near Kenton in Cimarron County, Oklahoma in layers of the late Kimmeridgian (late Jurassic). It is still debated whether Saurophaganax Maximus is a member of the Allosaurus family. At nearly 50’ long, 17’ tall and estimated weight of 6 – 8 tons, this Jurassic giant lived 150 million years ago. A skeletal reconstruction of Saurophaganax Maximus can be viewed at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma.

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