Paleontology Division

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Doug Cunningham, Fossil Preparator and Field Specialist

Firefighter, Reese AFB, 1976-1982.

Firefighter, City of Lubbock, 1982 - 2009 (retired).

Preparator and Field Specialist, MOTTU Anthropology & Paleontology Divisions, 2002 - present.




Doug was a firefighter for over 30 years before retiring.  His involvement with the museum began in 2000, when he brought in vertebrate fossils he had found in the Dockum Group of Garza County to show to Dr. Chatterjee.   Doug's finds led to new sites being worked by both the Paleontology and Anthropology divisions.   One of these localities, the Patricia Site, has produced an excellent collection of Pseudopalatine phytosaur skulls.   Doug obtained funding and has been employed by the Museum as a preparator and field worker since 2002.  While Doug continues to prospect in the Dockum searching for rare material of early dinosaurs, he has found a prolific micro site, more phytosaur skulls, and a rare sphenosuchian (crocodile ancestor) he is in the process of preparing. Doug is currently working as a Field Specialist/Research Assistant for the Anthropology Division and the Paleontology Division.




Jacketing a sphenosuchian at the Headquarters locality. Finishing the mount of Postosuchus. Sawing a steel support for the exhibit. Doug Cunningham preparing a sphenosuchian skull.

Doug Cunningham and Sankar Chatterjee examining a mount of Shuvosaurus

Doug Cunningham and Sankar Chatterjee examining a mount of Shuvosaurus.



Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Hungerbühler, A., B. Mueller, S. Chatterjee and D.P. Cunningham. 2013. Cranial Anatomy of the Late Triassic Phytosaur Machaeroprosopus, with the Description of a New Species from West Texas. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 103:269-312.

Cunningham, D.P., A. Gedeon, and M.O. Houle. 2004. The Resolution of Problems Involved in the Construction of a Postosuchus kirkpatricki mount. Abstract, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 24(3): 49A.

Cunningham, D.P., A. Hungerbühler, and S. Chatterjee. 2002. Late Triassic vertebrates from the Patricia Site near Post, Texas. Abstract, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22(3): 47A.




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