Dinosaurs have been found in strange places, but the
following excerpt from Cretaceous Airport, an
informative booklet by Louis Jacobs, Ph.D., describes
one of the more unusual settings in which dinosaur
fossils are found.
"'In a few minutes, we will be landing at DFW Airport.'"
That is what you hear as you arrive at the world's
second busiest airport. But buckle your seat belts as
you read this: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
is the home to dinosaurs, sea monsters, sharks and other
denizens of the ancient world.
"Over 90 million years ago, the ocean ran all the way up
and past the DFW Metroplex; there was no land where
Houston, Austin and San Antonio are located. That was
all under water. In fact, to the northwest of DFW Airport,
the ocean flooded through the interior of western North
America to join in one continuous sea way with the Arctic
"Waterways at DFW erode the earth and expose the strata,
or layers, in which dinosaur and other fossils are found. East
of the runways at DFW you will find marine fossils, mosasaurs,
plesiosaurs and sea turtles but west of the runways, a baby
Nodosaurus was recently found by a twelve-year old student.
Other finds include a Tenontosaurus and a ferocious
40-foot meat-eater, Acrocanthosaurus."
Dr. Jacobs, who has led and participated in expeditions around
the world in search of dinosaurs, has been instrumental in working
with local museums, the Dallas Paleontological Society, and
amateur fossil collectors to organize a survey of the fossil history
of the DFW Metroplex.
Cretaceous Airport is recommended by The Dinosaur Society.
This 28-page booklet, including four pages in color, is available
for only $3.95. Educational discounts available. For more
information, please fax inquiries to Louis Jacobs, The Saurus
Institute, at 214-768-2701. Proceeds from the sale of this
booklet go to support dinosaur science (ISBN 1-883515-01-7).
About the Author
Highlights of a taped interview with Dr. Jacobs are included in
Arts & Letters Dinosaurs. Pull down the Database menu, select
Sound Effects and A Visit with Louis Jacobs, Ph.D.
A former visiting scholar at Harvard, Professor Louis Jacobs
teaches at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, and
serves as director of the Shuler Museum of Paleontology at SMU.
Louis Jacobs doesn't fit the popular image of the tweedy, pipe-
smoking professor. His ready smile, and penetrating wit seem at
odds with academia. However, when one asks him for a specific
number or date, he is likely to look for it written on the back of
his hand. "I misplace notebooks," he explains ruefully, "but
I've never lost my hands."Professor Louis Jacobs is an eminently
likeable man, a quality that has helped him lead expeditions on
several continents in search of dinosaurs.
The account of his African adventures can be found in his book,
Quest for the African Dinosaurs, winner of The Dinosaur Society's
1994 Colbert Award for the Best Dinosaur Book for Adults.
Published by Villard Books, Quest for the African Dinosaurs can
be ordered at your favorite bookstore (ISBN 0-679-41270-0).
While in Malawi, Africa, Dr. Jacobs and his team discovered
hundreds of fossils and the remains of a brand-new dinosaur,
which he christened Malawisaurus.
Dr. Jacobs' latest book is LoneStar Dinosaurs, published by
Texas A&M Press.