Perot Museum fossil-hunting team names recent find after museum's namesake

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 2 at 8:21 PM

DALLAS -- It could be argued that some of the most impressive specimens at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science are the people behind the scenes in the sort of dinosaur warehouse.

They painstakingly piece together history by piecing it apart first.

“I have to crack these rocks open, extract the bones from there - chisel them out,” explained paleontologist Ron Tykoski, who is the museum’s fossil preparator.

He said it can take years to get a fragile, 70-million-year-old skull out of a block of rock.

“It definitely requires a huge amount of patience; the ability to focus on the same thing for a long period of time," Tykoski said.

It’s the kind of job you have to want for years.

“I have wanted to be a paleontologist as long as I can remember -- three, four, five years old," Tykoski said.

We’ve been following the Perot team in Alaska as they uncover more fossils. Tykoski and his colleagues have found specimens never before discovered.

In fact, they put Perot in its name.

“We named that animal Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum," he said.

With a very distinctive head, described as a “bulging, battering-ram skulls," it’s certainly not pretty.

“It’s an ugly dinosaur; a face only a mother could love,” Tykoski said.

But it’s their baby at the Perot Museum, and now they’ve found remnants of a young one, too -- an adolescent.

Those new, very old pieces promise to keep Tykoski busy, and keep museum visitors enthralled for years to come.

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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