Michael J. Polcyn

NatGeo: Shark-like Tails Sped Ancient Sea Monsters Through Oceans

Science journalist Jane J. Lee with National Geographic reported on the research of SMU Research Associate Michael J. Polcyn, who co-authored a new study that found the ancient sea monsters known as mosasaurs were not as slow as paleontologists once thought, thanks to their shark-like tails.
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Dallas Morning News: Paleontologist puts passion for fossils to use as curator at Perot Museum

[caption id="attachment_5025" align="alignleft" width="220"] Anthony Fiorillo excavates a Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum at a quarry in Alaska. (Credit: Dallas Morning News)[/caption]Dallas Morning News reporter Katharina Marino covered the research of Anthony Fiorillo, who is Perot Museum Curator of Earth Sciences at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park.

Fiorillo is also an adjunct research professor of paleoecology in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Continue reading

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SMU contributes fossils, expertise to new Perot Museum in ongoing scientific collaboration

From dinosaurs to sea turtles, and from technical assistance to advisory roles, SMU faculty and students, the SMU Shuler Museum, and the SMU Innovation Gymnasium, team with the nation’s new premier museum of nature and science.

Fossils on loan by SMU to the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science include those of animals from an ancient sea that once covered Dallas. Continue reading

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Dallas Morning News: Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan

gavial%2C%20istock%20220x165.jpgDallas Morning News reporter Marc Ramirez has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

The story, “‘Prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe may be a native Texan,” published in the Tuesday, July 20 edition of the Dallas Morning News. Continue reading

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Daily Mail: Meet the 25 ft prehistoric Texas crocodile who lived 100 million years ago

gavial%2C%20istock%20220x165.jpgLondon Daily Mail reporter Mark Duell has written about the big prehistoric crocodile identified by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, a doctoral candidate in Dedman College’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

The story, “‘Its fossil looked like a loaf of bread from Subway’: Meet the 25ft prehistoric Texas crocodile who lived 100 MILLION years ago,” published in the Sunday, July 17 edition of the Daily Mail.
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New Texas Native: 96-million-year-old crocodile Terminonaris makes its first appearance in Texas, switches origins

Gharial-snout-400x300.jpgMaking its first appearance in Texas, a prehistoric crocodile thought to have originated in Europe now appears to have been a native of the Lone Star State.

The switch in origins for the genus known as Terminonaris is based on the identification of a well-preserved, narrow fossil snout that was discovered along the shoreline of a lake near Dallas. SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams identified the reptile.
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Youtube: Trailer of Projecto PaleoAngola documentary

Angola%20006a.jpgSMU paleontologists Louis L. Jacobs and Michael J. Polcyn appear in a new documentary about Projecto PaleoAngola, a collaborative international scientific research program focused on the ancient life of Angola.

“The results of our fieldwork in the Cretaceous of Angola have been extraordinarily spectacular,” says Jacobs. Besides the discovery of the first dinosaur of Angola the team has uncovered mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, turtles and other Cretaceous marine animals. Continue reading

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Earth magazine: “Mapping Dino Footprints in 3-D”

Earth%2C%20TAdams%2C%203D%2C%20May%202011.jpgThe May 2011 issue of Earth Magazine reports on the research of SMU paleontologists in the SMU Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

In a project led by SMU paleontologist Thomas L. Adams, the scientists used portable laser scanning technology to capture field data of a huge 110 million-year-old Texas dinosaur track and then create to scale an exact 3D facsimile.

They have shared their protocol and findings with the public — as well as their downloadable 145-megabyte model — in the online scientific journal Palaeontologia Electronica. The model duplicates an actual dinosaur footprint fossil that is slowly being destroyed by weathering because it’s on permanent outdoor display, says Adams.
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Associated Press: Projecto PaleoAngola discovers Angola’s first dinosaur

Karen_Carr_Angolatitan%2C%20300x200.jpegThe research of an international team co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs is receiving worldwide coverage for discovery of the first fossil of a dinosaur from Angola.

A paper published in the “Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Science” described the long-necked, plant-eating sauropod based on a fossilized forelimb with unique skeletal characteristics that indicates it’s from a previously unknown dinosaur. Continue reading

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