I am a little late with this blog, however I recently went to Lawson, Oklahoma a couple weeks ago for my research. This was not originally planned when I first started my project, however it seemed to be a great resource in terms of getting new specimens in which I could prepare myself. We drove out on Friday (was a very long drive, about 16 hours!!) and on Saturday we got up bright and early and went to the Dolese Bros. Quarry. The Vice President of the company and the Superintendent of the quarry assisted us and showed us where the best places to find our permian fossils would potentially be. Working started early since the temperatures in Oklahoma this summer have been highs of 112 degrees.
We started out slow, finding a leg bone or skull fragment here and there, but eventually we hit the motherload. We started finding vertebrate, squamosal, femur, humeri, etc. These were all found in the rock pile across from where we had began looking around. The superintendent of the quarry who was helping us, had the best find of the day…a fully in tact vertebrate of what we think may have belonged to Seymouria, which lived long before the dinosaurs and was a small reptile that roamed the Richards Spur locality. The piece is very remarkable and it was an exciting find for us all.
After a rewarding day, we found it was well worth enduring the heat and the 16 hour car ride. We ventured over to the Sam Noble Museum later in the afternoon, which we found quite impressive. They had great geology and paleontology exhibits for all to enjoy. We also were eager to see the display on the Richards Spur locality. It was really well put together and we were intrigued at what the site we are researching used to look like during the Permian period. It is not the dry, dusty limestone quarry that we see today and the display showed the fissures, species, and bedrock in a remake of its original, ancient habitat. At the end of the day, it was nice to know we were going back to Wisconsin with some quarry contacts, a good experience, and lots of bulk sample and preserved bones to sort through and prepare. I am looking forward to a busy semester preparing and sharing what I have found!