BiographyAs far back as he can remember Dr. Anthony R. Fiorillo has only wanted to do one of two things professionally, play centerfield for the New York Yankees or study dinosaurs. Much to the detriment of his parents’ retirement plans, he studies dinosaurs.
Tony received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut and his Master of Science degree from the University of Nebraska. He completed his Ph.D. work in vertebrate paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1989. For the next two years he was the Rea Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and then a museum scientist at the Museum of Paleontology. Tony joined the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in 1995 where he became the Vice President of Research & Collections and Chief Curator.
His work in over a dozen units of the National Park Service won him national recognition in 2000 and again in 2007 with the National Park Service, Alaska Region Natural Resource Research Award. In 2019 he received the international George Wright Society’s Natural Resources Achievement Award. He was also named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2008 and in 2013 he was given the Distinguished Alumni award by University of Nebraska Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. For him, the appeal of the work in Alaska is the result of the combination of intellectual pursuit and the rigors of working in the Arctic environment.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Earth Sciences, Paleontology, Dinosaurs, Arctic Ecosystems, Paleoecology
By: Anthony R Fiorillo
Subjects: Environmental Science, Geoscience, Life Science
The discovery of the first juvenile dromaeosaurid lower jaw bone
on the North Slope of Alaska
supports a growing theory that some Cretaceous Arctic dinosaurs did not migrate with the seasons but were
year-round residents, according to new research by SMU paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo. The research was
published in PLOS ONE (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235078). Prior to this find, only tiny dromaeosaurid teeth have been discovered in this region.
Dromaeosaurids are a group of predatory dinosaurs closely related to birds. Researchers have tended to believe that this group of dinosaurs migrated through the area but did not make their homes there. “This is the first physical evidence that 70 million years ago, some dromaeosaurid nested in the area,” Fiorillo says. “To withstand the rigors of migration, modern caribou need to be at least 80 percent of their adult length. Grown dromaeosaurids ranged from 6 to 9 feet. This baby would have been the size of a small puppy, much too young to migrate,” he says.
Link to CNN story (Katie Hunt): https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/08/world/baby-dinosaur-arctic-scn/index.html