Perot Museum to store 95-million-year-old fossils found by UTA professor

Print
Email
|

by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 11:56 PM

DALLAS -- For Dr. Ron Tykoski of the Perot Museum, it’s as much a workspace as it is a playground.

The paleontologist has been working with fossils since the early 90s and would have never imagined he would be working on his current project.

“It caught us out of the blue," Tykoski said. "We weren't really expecting it, but we agreed with it."

In a warehouse at Fair Park in Dallas, Tykoski is scraping away 95-million-year-old dirt from the jawbone of a crocodiloform. The Perot Museum is taking on 1,200 fossils dating 95 million years.

The well-known Arlington Archosaur site had to go somewhere when director Derek Main died unexpectedly in early June. The fossils belonged to UT-Arlington.

“Arlington said, 'We need to find a better place for this material than here,'” according to Tykoski.

He said this material - dating back to the late Cretacious - is rarely found in fossil form.

Chris Noto, the new director, talked with News 8 from Wisconsin. He said the Perot Museum stepped in and took on what UT-Arlington could not.

“Unfortunately, it's very expensive to have these sorts of facilities and you have meet certain criteria and be accredited,” Noto said.

And Noto said the Perot perfectly fits that bill. All these fossils have been deeded over to the museum with no money exchanged; all in the name of science.

“It is something that Derek would have wanted -- that this is a point of pride for the people of the area,” Noto said.

It means more work for Dr. Tykoski, who has to go through dozens of boxes of fossils, but he said he doesn't mind.

“We’re making sure we apply the best practices to see to it these specimens survive for decades,” Tykoski said.

He's is not sure if these fossils will ever make to an exhibit. But it will be available to science, and that vision was started by Derek Main.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|