First Carnivore Dinosaur Tooth Found at Black Mesa

Jul 15, 2013

Credit byways.org

Black Mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma.  Its name comes from a layer of black volcanic rock that coated the mesa 10 million years ago.  Located in the northwest corner of the panhandle, it's where The University Herald says Dr. Mark Micozzi found a tooth from the largest land-dwelling carnivores- theropods. 

Micozzi was digging a trench to drain water away from the excavation site at Black Mesa, when he came upon a flat, triangular stone.  As fate would have it, it was the tooth of a theropod.  Theropods were bipeds with strong large hind legs, and short front limbs.  The most well known theropod is probably the T. rex. 

Dr. Mark Micozzi with theropod tooth
Dr. Mark Micozzi with theropod tooth
Credit ecok.edu

This is the first confirmation of carnivores in the area.  It's also the first find for Dr. Micozzi.

The expedition was part of Explorology, a program that gives students and instructors an opportunity to conduct field research together.