Virtual Field Trip to Dolese Quarry, Richards Spur, Lawton, Ok
The photographs were taken in 2005 by Neal Immega.
3918 Case St
Houston, Tx 77005
n_immegaATswbell.net replace AT with @ (protection from spammers)
Abstract: Lower Permian reptile bones are found in soft clay fissure fillings in hard Ordovician limestone at the Dolese Quarry 7 miles north of Lawton, Ok. The quarry allows non-commercial collection by amateur and professional groups and specifically excludes individual collectors. For individuals, I suggest you contact the company and join someone else’s visit.
Dolese Brothers Quarry
General Office 20 N.W. 13th
Oklahoma City, Ok 73103
Richards Spur quarry
Rick Delk and Mike Fesse
Geological Setting: The Ordovician rocks were uplifted and tilted in the Pennsylvanian age Wichita Uplift. The Ordovician rocks appear to have been greatly altered because there is no detail visible with a hand lens. Cut into the Ordovician are fissures that have been filled with lower Permian soft white clay. Cave dripstone is common and sometimes covers the bones.
Importance: The Dolese quarry is unique in the abundance and accessibility of the Permian terrestrial fossils found there. The quarry manager told me that university groups regularly show up to fill up a pickup with 5 gallon buckets of material. People regularly tell me that they want to find a dinosaur, but where would you work on it if you were so unfortunate to find a complete skeleton? These reptiles are 9 inches long (or so) and it would be no problem to do all your work on the kitchen table. The fossils are easy to clean because the matrix is soft clay and the bones are easy to find because they are dark blue (probably because the outside is altered to iron phosphate). This place is great.
Paleontology: 30 species of tetrapod fossils. The common one is Captorhinus aguti.
These are anapsid reptiles, which lack a temporal opening in the back sides of the skull. The only modern representative are turtles. The skull has a small opening in the center for the pineal gland, or third eye.
QE153 .A2 no.127
"Cranial anatomy of primitive captorhinid reptiles
from the Late Pennsylvanian and Early Permian,
Oklahoma and Texas," Malcolm J. Heaton
Heaton, Malcolm J. Oklahoma Geological Survey.
Bulletin no. 127
In an effort to keep visitors safe, the quarry has bulldozed a huge pile of mixed lower Permian clay and Ordovician rock away from the walls for the collectors. They forbid anyone from approaching the quarry walls. Hard hats and safety glasses (but not steel toed shoes) are required. Some quarry people were collecting along side us all day.