ExplorOlogy

East Central University’s Dr. Mark Micozzi shows a dinosaur tooth he recently uncovered while spending the summer in the Oklahoma Panhandle near Kenton and the Black Mesa Nature Preserve. It was the first paleontological find for Micozzi who is a professor in ECU’s Department of Cartography and Geography. The tooth belonged to a therepod, which was known for its strong hind legs and short front limbs. The finding was also the first indication of a dinosaurian carnivore from that land, dubbed the Homestead Quarry and owned by the Whitten-Newman Foundation.

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A new hobby has consumed East Central University’s Dr. Mark Micozzi and it has led to an amazing and exciting discovery as he spends the summer in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

Dabbling in paleontology for the first time in his life, Micozzi, a professor in ECU’s Department of Cartography and Geography, recently found a dinosaur tooth near Kenton, Okla., in the far northwestern corner of the panhandle.

The tooth belonged to a theropod, a dinosaur with strong hind legs and short front limbs. The finding was the first indication of a dinosaurian carnivore from what is dubbed the “Homestead Quarry” on land owned by the Whitten-Newman Foundation

“The thrill of discovery is something you can’t experience anywhere but out in the field,” said Micozzi.

Micozzi, along with ECU student Dylan Cheatwood, has been spending the summer near the Black Mesa Nature Preserve and Kenton, the highest elevated town in the state and the only Oklahoma town in the Mountain Time Zone, located just three miles east of the New Mexico state line and six miles south of the Colorado state border.

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