Paul Sereno

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Paul C. Sereno
Paul Sereno Lab Photo (cropped).jpg
Sereno in 2010
Born (1957-10-11) October 11, 1957 (age 65)
Alma materNorthern Illinois University (B.S., Biological Sciences, 1979)
Columbia University (M.A., Vertebrate Paleontology, 1981; M. Phil., Geological Sciences, 1981; Ph.D., Geological Sciences, 1987)
Known forDiscoveries in paleontology; founder of Project Exploration
Scientific career
FieldsPaleontology (vertebrate)
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago
Doctoral studentsJeffrey A. Wilson
Author abbrev. (zoology)Sereno

Paul Callistus Sereno (born October 11, 1957) is a professor of paleontology at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence" who has discovered several new dinosaur species on several continents, including at sites in Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger.[1] One of his most widely publicized discoveries is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator — popularly known as SuperCroc — at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger.


Youth and education[edit]

The son of a mail carrier[2] and an art teacher at Prairie Elementary, Sereno grew up in Naperville, Illinois and graduated from Naperville Central High School. He was then educated at Northern Illinois University (B.S., Biological Sciences, 1979) and Columbia University (M.A., Vertebrate Paleontology, 1981; M. Phil., Geological Sciences, 1981; Ph.D., Geological Sciences, 1987).


Sereno was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People (1997).[3]

Sereno co-founded Project Exploration, a non-profit science education organization to encourage city kids to pursue careers in science. He appears in the 2009 DVD Dinosaur Discoveries, featuring classic segments of CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite as the host, which aired on A&E in 1991. It was later re-shown on the Disney Channel until the late 1990s.

On August 14, 2008, it was revealed that Sereno had uncovered a large Stone Age cemetery at Gobero in the Nigerien Sahara, remnants of a people who lived from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago on the edge of what was then a large lake. The National Geographic documentary, Skeletons of the Sahara was made about this discovery and premiered in 2013. [4][5][6]

Fossil species described by Sereno or his team[edit]

Sereno at a dig in 2010
Sereno holding a cast of Sinornithomimus

Documentaries featuring Sereno and his discoveries[edit]

In addition to his many discoveries in the field, public communication has been a big part of Sereno's career.

Year Title Producer Featured Fossils (Sites)
1991 At the Forefront Kurtis Productions, Ltd., PBS
1992 Fragments of Time New Explorers, PBS Eoraptor (Argentina)
1992 The Dinosaurs! - Flesh on the Bones WHYY-TV, PBS Herrerasaurus (Argentina)
1993 The Next Generation, 1% Inspiration WNET, PBS
1994 Skeletons in the Sand New Explorers, PBS (Niger)
1995 Paleoworld - African Graveyard, Part I: Hunting Dinosaurs The Learning Channel (Morocco)
1995 Paleoworld - African Graveyard, Part II: Discovering Dinosaurs The Learning Channel (Morocco)
1996 Paleoworld - Flesh on the Bones The Learning Channel Deltadromeus, Carcharodontosaurus (Morocco)
1997 Beyond T-Rex Discovery Channel Carcharodontosaurus (Morocco)
1998 Colossal Claw National Geographic Explorer Suchomimus (Sahara)
1998 Dinosaur Fever National Geographic Explorer sauropods (Niger)
1999 Africa's Dinosaur Giants National Geographic Explorer Jobaria (Niger)
2001 SuperCroc NBC/NGC Sarcosuchus
2006 Sky Monsters NGC pterosaur (Niger)
2009 Bizarre Dinos NGC Nigersaurus, Raptorex, Mykocephale
2009 When Crocs Ate Dinosaurs NGChannel BoarCroc, PancakeCroc, DuckCroc, DogCroc, RatCroc (Sahara, Australia)
2013 Skeletons of the Sahara NOVA-NGTelevision humans (Gobero, Niger)
2014 Bigger than T. rex NOVA-NGTelevision Spinosaurus (Morocco)


  1. ^ Briggs, Helen (12 December 2007). "New meat-eating dinosaur unveiled" (Web). News article about; Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis was one of the largest meat-eaters that ever lived. BBC News. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  2. ^ Spalding, D.A.E., 1993, Dinosaur Hunters: 150 years of extraordinary discoveries, Key Porter Books, Toronto, p. 284
  3. ^ "Most Beautiful: Paul Sereno". People. 1997-12-05. Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-11-24.
  4. ^ Dell'Amore, Christine (14 August 2008). "Ancient Cemetery Found; Brings "Green Sahara" to Life" (Web). News article about; Dinosaur hunters have stumbled across the largest and oldest Stone Age cemetery in the Sahara desert. National Geographic News. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  5. ^ Gwin, Peter (September 2008). "Green Sahara" (Web). Feature story about; Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara - How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest Stone Age graveyard. National Geographic. Retrieved 2008-08-15.
  6. ^ "Skeletons of the Sahara" (Web). PBS. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  7. ^ Varricchio, D. J.; Sereno, P. C.; Xijin, Z.; Lin, T.; Wilson, J. A.; Lyon, G. H. (2008). "Mud-Trapped Herd Captures Evidence of Distinctive Dinosaur Sociality". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 53 (4): 567–578. doi:10.4202/app.2008.0402. ISSN 0567-7920.

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