Miocene Proboscidean Tooth Found in Evaporite Karst Sinkhole near Gate, Oklahoma

Bryce L. Bonnet, Nicholas J. Czaplewski, Kent S. Smith


Fragments of a proboscidean tooth were found in Neogene sediments of the Ogallala Formation within an evaporate karst sinkhole formed in Permian redbeds outside Gate, Oklahoma. The pieces were reconstructed and identified by comparison with museum specimens and literature. The tooth was determined to belong to the family Gomphotheriidae, and the species complex Gomphotherium “productum.” The species is known by other records in the Late Miocene of Oklahoma and surrounding areas. Although a number of collapse sinkholes with fillings of Ogallala Formation sediments are known in Oklahoma, very few of them have been found to contain identifiable fossils such as this one.

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