Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

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Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History exterior
People of Oklahoma exhibit. People of Oklahoma.jpg
People of Oklahoma exhibit.

The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum located on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. The museum was founded in 1899 by an act of the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature, and opened its doors on its current location in 1999. The museum contains approximately "7 million objects and specimens in 12 collections." [1] It has almost 50,000 sq ft (4,600 m2) of exhibit space, with five galleries and exhibits that provide an in-depth tour of Oklahoma’s natural history. It is "one of the world's largest university-based natural history museums." [2]

Natural history museum institution that displays exhibits of natural historical significance

A natural history museum or museum of natural history is a scientific institution with natural history collections that include current and historical records of animals, plants, fungi, ecosystems, geology, paleontology, climatology, and more.

University of Oklahoma public research university in Norman, Oklahoma, United States

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it had existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. In Fall 2018 the university had 31,702 students enrolled, most at its main campus in Norman. Employing nearly 3,000 faculty members, the school offers 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master's programs, 75 doctorate programs, and 20 majors at the first professional level.

Oklahoma Territorial Legislature

The Oklahoma Territorial Legislature was the legislative branch of the government of the Oklahoma Territory. It was organized as a bicameral legislature with a territorial council and a territorial house of representatives. They met for 120-day sessions in Guthrie, Oklahoma.


Before its 1999 relocation and expansion, the original museum chartered by the Legislature in 1899 had been known in much smaller quarters on campus as the Stovall Museum of Science & History, named for J. Willis Stovall, a paleontologist and faculty professor who assembled much of the original collection.

John Willis Stovall was an American paleontologist at the University of Oklahoma. Along with his student Wann Langston, Jr., he named the theropod dinosaur Acrocanthosaurus in 1950. Most of his research centered on the Cimarron Valley region of extreme northwestern Oklahoma.

Native American languages

The Annual Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair is held at the museum every April. In 2013, the fair set a new record for attendance, with 921 Native American language students representing 46 different languages. [3] [4] Over 72 languages are held in the museum archives. [5]

Notable specimens

<i>Apatosaurus</i> Genus of reptiles (fossil)

Apatosaurus is a genus of herbivorous sauropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the Late Jurassic period. Othniel Charles Marsh described and named the first-known species, A. ajax, in 1877, and a second species, A. louisae, was discovered and named by William H. Holland in 1916. Apatosaurus lived about 152 to 151 million years ago (mya), during the late Kimmeridgian to early Tithonian age, and are now known from fossils in the Morrison Formation of modern-day Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Utah in the United States. Apatosaurus had an average length of 21–22.8 m (69–75 ft), and an average mass of 16.4–22.4 t. A few specimens indicate a maximum length of 11–30% greater than average and a mass of 32.7–72.6 t.

<i>Pentaceratops</i> genus of reptiles (fossil)

Pentaceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur from the late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America.

<i>Titanoceratops</i> genus of reptiles (fossil)

Titanoceratops is a genus of herbivorous ceratopsian dinosaur. It was a giant chasmosaurine ceratopsian that lived during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now New Mexico, and the earliest known member of Triceratopsini. It was named in 2011 by Nicholas R. Longrich for a specimen previously thought to belong to Pentaceratops. Titanoceratops was named for its giant skull, and the type species was named T. ouranos, after the father of the Greek titans.

<i>Dunkleosteus</i> Extinct genus of placoderm fish

Dunkleosteus is an extinct genus of arthrodire placoderm fish that existed during the Late Devonian period, about 358–382 million years ago. The name Dunkleosteus combines the Greek ὀστέον, osteon, meaning "bone", and Dunkle, in honor of David Dunkle of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. It consists of ten species: D. terrelli, D. belgicus, D. denisoni, D. marsaisi, D. magnificus, D. missouriensis, D. newberryi, D. amblyodoratus, and D. raveri; some of which are among the largest placoderms to have ever lived. The largest species, D. terrelli grew up to 6 m (19.7 ft) long and 1 t in weight. Few other placoderms rivaled Dunkleosteus in size. Dunkleosteus could quickly open and close its jaw, like modern day suction feeders, and had a bite force of 6,000 N at the tip and 7,400 N at the blade edge. Numerous fossils of the various species have been found in North America, Poland, Belgium, and Morocco.

<i>Gomphotherium</i> extinct genus of proboscid

Gomphotherium is an extinct genus of proboscids from the Neogene and early Pleistocene of Eurasia, Africa, and North America.

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The Cooper Bison Kill Site is an archaeological site near Fort Supply in Harper County, Oklahoma, United States. Located along the Beaver River, it was explored in 1993 and 1994 and found to contain artifacts of the Folsom tradition, including arrowheads. It is believed that these artifacts are the results of hunters killing bison in an arroyo. The hunters of this culture found the site continuously useful; the known artifacts are believed to be the results of three different hunts.

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Paleontology in Oklahoma

Paleontology in Oklahoma refers to paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma has a rich fossil record spanning all three eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. Oklahoma is the best source of Pennsylvanian fossils in the United States due to having an exceptionally complete geologic record of the epoch. From the Cambrian to the Devonian, all of Oklahoma was covered by a sea that would come to be home to creatures like brachiopods, bryozoans, graptolites and trilobites. During the Carboniferous, an expanse of coastal deltaic swamps formed in areas of the state where early tetrapods would leave behind footprints that would later fossilize. The sea withdrew altogether during the Permian period. Oklahoma was home a variety of insects as well as early amphibians and reptiles. Oklahoma stayed dry for most of the Mesozoic. During the Late Triassic, carnivorous dinosaurs left behind footprints that would later fossilize. During the Cretaceous, however, the state was mostly covered by the Western Interior Seaway, which was home to huge ammonites and other marine invertebrates. During the Cenozoic, Oklahoma became home to creatures like bison, camels, creodonts, and horses. During the Ice Age, the state was home to mammoths and mastodons. Local Native Americans are known to have used fossils for medicinal purposes. The Jurassic dinosaur Saurophaganax maximus is the Oklahoma state fossil.

The Pumpkin Creek Site (Lv-49) is an archaeological site dating from the Archaic period in northern Love County, Oklahoma, which is along Oklahoma's border with Texas. The site was occupied from 7,000-9,5000 BP. Evidence indicates the site was occupied while humans made tools from high quality stone found here and then departed the site, returning when additional stone tools were needed. It is estimated that only 5% of the original site remains due to heavy erosion. It is 2 acres (0.81 ha) and lies on a hillside. Artifacts have been donated to the Stovall Museum, now the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. During its use, there was more rainfall and vegetation in the present day. Humans ceased using the site circa 7,000 BP when the region became very dry and arid.


  1. "Collections and Research Division Home". Sam Noble Museum, The University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  2. "Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History - Full Profile of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History with Hours, Exhibits, Cost and More". Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  3. Culver, Galen (2013-04-04). "Great State: Native American Language Fair" (, News Channel 4 ed.). Oklahoma City. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  4. Shannon, Susan (2013-04-05). "Native American Youth Language Fair has record attendance". KGOU, Your NPR Source for Oklahoma. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  5. "Collections Division, Native American Languages Main Page". Sam Noble Museum, The University of Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 2013-04-04. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  6. Carter, Brian; Bement, Leland C. (1999). Bison hunting at Cooper site: where lightning bolts drew thundering herds . Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN   0-8061-3053-9.

Coordinates: 35°11′40″N97°26′56″W / 35.1944°N 97.4490°W / 35.1944; -97.4490

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.