Coweta Resident Discovers Ancient Fossil

Wednesday, January 14th 2009, 2:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Howell

COWETA, OK -- Tony Morris of Coweta has always been interested in fossils and has had great luck finding them.

On a field trip with members of the Tulsa Rock and Mineral Society to a quarry in southwestern Oklahoma, he made another great find.

"Inside these cave fissures are the preserved fossils of these Permian aged vertebrate. I was walking on the trail back to the car and there was this boulder sitting on the ground and on one edge I saw this row of teeth sticking out of the side of the rock." said Tony. "I slowly picked at it with dental picks and worked my way in from the sides and underneath it. The head and the face that you see in the photos was down into the rock with just that row of teeth sticking up."

Tony went online and found Robert Reisz, a renowned Paleontologist from the University of Toronto who recognized the skull immediately as a Cacops.

"It's an armored amphibian, it's about 280 million years old and it's a very strange looking animal, big-headed, mouth full of teeth, a very good predator. We are re-describing this on the basis of this specimen, and we are creating a new species for it because it is distinct from the original material on which the genius was based. It's the Cacops, the genus name, and I'll name it after him which is Morris, Morrisi."

And thus Cacops Morrisi was discovered in Oklahoma by a native Oklahoman.

"It's interesting to know that maybe your name would get mentioned in something and you added to the studies." said Tony.