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**For Immediate Release**
Fossils Predict Presence of Oil
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 09-28-05
by Laura Dahl

Dr. Beverly Meyer, Assistant Professor of Earth Science at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, authored an article in Bulletins of American Paleontology, published by the Paleontological Research Institution. The institution publishes the scholarly journal as collections of articles on the same subject.
 
The current issue addresses Conodont fossils, a subject Dr. Meyer researched during her doctoral studies. She specifically studies the fossilized teeth of the small, extinct eel-like animal. The aquatic animal was only about 1-1/2” to 3” in length, and the remaining teeth are only about the size of a speck of pepper. Dr. Meyer’s fossils were extracted from well core from 9,000 to 11,000 feet below the surface of the Permian Basin in West Texas.
 
Studying the fossils is important because it gives scientists data about Earth’s history, but they also provide important information for those in oil exploration. During the drilling process, scientists study well core and examine the fossils contained within the material. The color of the fossil changes as temperature increases below the surface. If the temperature below the surface has risen too high, the teeth are black, which indicates the oil has been “cooked out” of the earth.
 
Dr. Meyer teaches earth science courses and remains involved in research. For more information, telephone her at 580-349-1524 or email at bmeyer@opsu.edu.

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