On the News | Love of dinosaurs leads to life among bones @ The Norman Transcript

On the News @ The Norman Transcript


Love of dinosaurs leads to life among bones


Image Credit: Joy Hampton (@source)

“One of Norman’s oldest residents is known only by the bones hanging on the wall at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Cotylorhynchus, or “Cup Nose” as he’s know to his non-Latin speaking friends, was a plant eater with a “ridiculously tiny head,” according to Jennifer Larsen, Vertebrate Paleontology Collections Manager.

“A lot of times, their name will mean something about them,” Larsen said.

Cup Nose was a little smaller than a cow but had a head the size of a dog. His peg-like teeth probably raked in vegetation to eat it whole, while his big belly may have allowed for a long digestion.

Cup Nose had a round-shaped body like a rhino and was found in red clay, indicating it existed in the Permian Age. Spanning more than 300 million years geologic time, the Sam Noble collection is especially strong in Early Permian tetrapods, Jurassic dinosaurs, and Mio-Pliocene mammals of Oklahoma.

What’s really special about Cup Nose is he’s is unique to this locale.

“That species has only been found in Norman with a possible one found in Texas,” Larsen said. “The other stuff you find here, you also find in other places.”

Larsen said she feels lucky to manage over 70,000 cataloged specimens, representing all geological time periods in which vertebrates occur. Sam Noble’s vertebrate paleontology collection is used as a research resource by scientists spanning the globe and is considered one of the most important records of vertebrate history and evolution in the southern plains.

Working with this collection is a dream come true for Larsen.” (…) READ MORE

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)