A closeup of specimen brushes and other tools in the Perot Museum Collections lab.

Research and Collections

Most of our current research concentrates on the work of Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, vertebrate paleontologist and vice president, research and collections and chief curator. Fiorillo works extensively on Late Cretaceous vertebrate faunas across the globe, with a particular interest in polar Late Cretaceous communities and dinosaur paleoecology. For Fiorillo, the appeal of fieldwork in Alaska is the result of the combination of intellectual pursuit and the rigors of working in the Arctic environment.

The Museum’s research program also operates North Texas’ largest and most active fossil preparation laboratory, overseen by vertebrate paleontologist and director of the paleontology lab Dr. Ron Tykoski. Tykoski has overseen the preparation of the Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum skull from Alaska, description and naming of North America’s oldest fossil bird, Flexomornis howei, from Grapevine, Texas. And most recently preparation of the Perot Museum’s neck vertebrae of the giant Alamosaurus sanjuanensis from Big Bend National Park.

Our Projects

Our Projects
The bones of Mammuthus columbi, or Ellie May, in the Ellis County pit from which she was excavated.

Ellie May

In summer 2014, an incredibly pristine and nearly complete Mammuthus columbi skeleton was excavated from a gravel pit in Ellis County. “Ellie May” has now made her way to her new permanent home in the Rees-Jones Dynamic Earth Hall on Level 3 of the Perot Museum, where she awaits your visit!

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A photograph in the field of Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum being excavated.

Walking with the Pachyrhinosaurus

Much of the Perot Museum’s current research is based upon material collected during expeditions in Alaska, from north of the Arctic Circle on the Colville River, to areas further south in Denali National Park. It has already resulted in the discovery of a new species of horned dinosaur, Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, and further discoveries are yet to be made!

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A rendering of the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a small T. rex discovered by Perot Museum Scientists in 2014.

Pint-sized T. rex

The discovery of Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a "pint-sized T. rex" is on the list with other amazing science stories of 2014 including comet landings, dwarf planets, major epidemics, and more.

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Mammuthus columbi

Pachyrhinosaurus

Nanuqsaurus hoglundi

Submit your Specimen

North Texas has a rich geological and paleontological history. Many of the specimens in the Museum’s collections were discovered by everyday folks who found something odd and wanted to have it identified. Our research staff can usually identify a specimen based on a few decent photographs.

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A Perot Museum scientist works on cleaning a specimen in the lab.

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