Research and Collections

Most of our current research stems from the work of the Perot Museum’s curator emeritus Dr. Anthony Fiorillo. 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 also operates North Texas’ largest and most active fossil preparation laboratory, overseen by Dr. Ron Tykoski, vice president of science. Tykoski has overseen the preparation of the Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum skull from Alaska. He also led the description and naming of North America’s oldest fossil bird, Flexomornis howei, from Grapevine, Texas, and prepared the neck vertebrae of the Museum’s giant Alamosaurus sanjuanensis from Big Bend National Park.

Our Projects
The bones of Mammuthus columbi, or Ellie May, being worked on by a fossil preparator in the Paleo Lab.

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!


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!


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.


Mammuthus columbi


Nanuqsaurus hoglundi

Submit Your Discovery

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 clear photographs.


Experience the Museum

Start Your Adventure

Get Tickets