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Dallas-Based Paleontologist Searches For Dinosaur Fossils in Arctic

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DALLAS - Dr. Anthony Fiorillo has made a career out of hunting for dinosaurs.  Not the type that can eat you, of course, but that doesn't mean he hasn't had his share of adventures.

He's the chief curator of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, and is the one who discovered several of its fourth-floor dinosaur exhibits, including the Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum.  Try saying that three times fast!

And it's not just dinosaur skeletons his team is looking for.

"A few years ago, we found what is arguably one of the world's greatest dinosaur track sites anywhere," said Dr. Fiorillo, "This track site is absolutely remarkable."

Now, he's studying something even bigger.  He says they've found evidence of a dinosaurian ecosystem with plenty of new material to study.  And he only had to go to the Arctic to find it, in the remote parts of northern Alaska.  Cell phones don't even have coverage out there!  But it turns out, our part of the world was connected to that one -- about 70 million years ago.  Dr. Fiorillo says some of the dinosaurs North Texas is famous for may have had Alaskan ancestors.

It may be hard work researching 100-million-year-old fossilized ecosystems in the Arctic circle, but Dr. Fiorillo says he's living the dream.

"As far back as I can remember, there's only two things I wanted to do.  One was play center field for the New York Yankees, the other one was to do exactly what I'm doing."

A dream most of us only get to see at the movie theater.

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