New Dinosaur Species Discovered In Alaska, Named In Honor Of Ross Perot

Sunday, November 20, 2011

When paleontologist Tony Fiorillo is one of the most spectacular dinosaur discoveries in Alaska, a NOVA television crew was there to capture the moment. But now it seems that the skull he found in front of the cameras in 2006, the culmination of the 2008 NOVA documentary "Arctic Dinosaurs" is more important than previously thought.

The skull and bones from a steep bank to the Colville River arctic Alaska by species of horned dinosaur, which is not documented elsewhere.

Years of research by Fiorillo, curator at the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, and the careful reconstruction of Ronald Tykoski, head of the Y museum fossil preparator, has confirmed that it was a Pachyrhinosaurus type - a relative of Triceratops - had not been found elsewhere.

"Obviously, it is extremely exciting to be that the level of photographic documentation at the time of discovery. It will be better. This is the biggest dream possible," he said.

They named the dinosaur species Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum in honor of former presidential candidate Ross Perot and his family, major benefactors of the Museum of Dallas.

Fiorillo and results detailed in the scientific journal Acta Tykoski Palaeontologia Polonica, and during the weekend in Las Vegas, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting.

What makes this different from other species pachyrhinosarus is the array of horns, Fiorillo said. "We have a horn goes in another direction, a radically different direction," he said.

The discovery in Colville rock was not only a single sample or transfer of a normal Pachyrhinosaurus, Fiorillo said. The river was the cemetery 70 million years in more than one type of dinosaur, over time, hundreds of bones back was dirty and matted, he said.

The newly discovered species Pachyrhinosaurus was one of the dinosaurs that once roamed many on the north side. Colville River region showed the most fertile grounds for discoveries in the world of the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous in the Arctic, including duck-billed, herbivorous hadrosaurs and pack hunting, meat-eating Troodon.

The discoveries of dinosaurs in Alaska have led scientists to reconsider theories about cold-blooded animals and why they became extinct about 65 million years. The results support the North Slope to the theory that at least some dinosaurs were warm-blooded, and therefore able to survive in cold climates.

At that point the geological history of Alaska was warmer than today, but far from tropical. The climate was like the size of Portland, Oregon to Calgary, Fiorillo said. But today, Alaska has been further north, because of continental drift, so even if the depth of seasonal fluctuations, he said.

Part of the North Slope dinosaurs were changes in the Arctic. Troodons for example, had very large eyes, which helped them to be life-threatening predators in the dark winter.

Fiorillo said he and his colleagues have yet to find anything on Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, there is an obvious function of the Arctic.

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