[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/21/art.lyson.jpg caption=”Tyler Lyson’s interest in fossil discovery led him to help create a research foundation.”]Lots of kids are into dinosaurs. Tyler Lyson says he just never grew out of it. He grew up in rural North Dakota and says fossils were more ubiquitous there than in other places in the U.S.
But in 1999, he didn’t find just any fossil; he discovered something jaw-dropping: a 25-foot-long dinosaur, complete with skin and all. Lyson’s find was an Edmontosaurus he named Dakota. The 65 million-year-old mummified dinosaur was eventually unearthed with Lyson standing by in 2004.
Lyson is now the co-founder of the Marmarth Research Foundation in his hometown. The foundation is creating a museum and outreach programs to give volunteers hands-on field and lab work with fossils. While getting his doctorate at Yale, Lyson wants to make sure that other kids don’t grow out of their fascination with the extinct.
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