J. W. Stovall and the Mesozoic of the Cimarron Valley, Oklahoma and New Mexico
— Adrian P. Hunt and Spencer G. Lucas


J. W. Stovall (1891-1953) spent a large portion of his professional career studying the geology and paleontology of the Cimarron Valley in Oklahoma and New Mexico. He was attracted to the area by the discovery of dinosaur bones in the Morrison Formation and subsequently wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleontology of the area. With financial support from the WPA, Stovall excavated 17 dinosaur quarries between 1935 and 1942 in Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Approximately 6,000 bones were collected from these quarries which were all in the Morrison Formation. Taxa recovered included Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, Atlantosaurus, Stegosaurus, Camptosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Saurophagus maximus and Goniopholis stovalli. These quarries are present at two discrete stratigraphic intervals near the top of the Morrison, were excavated in light gray mudstone and contained generally disarticulated and disassociated bones, most of which represent sauropod postcrania. Stovall made important paleontological discoveries in the Triassic and Cretaceous strata of the Cimarron Valley and revised the stratigraphic nomenclature advocated by earlier workers.

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Recommended Citation:

  1. Hunt, Adrian P.; Lucas, Spencer G., 1987, J. W. Stovall and the Mesozoic of the Cimarron Valley, Oklahoma and New Mexico, in: Northeastern New Mexico, Lucas, S. G.; Hunt, A. P., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 38th Field Conference, pp. 139-151. https://doi.org/10.56577/FFC-38.139

[see guidebook]