Officials at Ohio State University's Orton Geological Museum want the dinosaur with the Elvis pompadour to enter the building.

The Clintonville man who stumbled on the dino's bones while answering the call of nature more than a quarter-century ago in Antarctica wants that, too.

"Serendipity is widespread in fossil hunting," said David Elliot, 81, professor emeritus of geology at OSU's School of Earth Sciences. "I was not looking for bones. It was the last thing on my mind."

Nevertheless, the volcanologist who was tracking ash deposits on an expedition to Antarctica in 1991 spotted them after taking a break.

"You sit down in the middle of the day with your back against a rock and you eat lunch and have a drink and admire the view," Elliot said during a June 13 fundraising event at the Crest Gastropub to help bring the bones of what eventually was named Cryolophosaurus ellioti to Ohio.

The dinosaur was an odd-looking one, according to dinosaur-world.com, complete with a crest on its head that, due to its resemblance to "The King's" pompadour haircut in the 1950s, earned it the nickname "Elvisaurus."

Elliot said he was relieving himself after lunch that day in 1991 when he noticed something odd in the rocks around him.

"The penny finally dropped that the shape of this object meant that it could only be vertebrate remains," he said. "It looked like a scapula."

The fossil bones eventually were removed from the site by renowned paleontologist William R. Hammer, professor of geology and chairman of the department at Augustana College in Rock Hill, Illinois. It is the first carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in Antarctica, according to the college's website.

The bones currently are at Augustana, but a fundraising campaign has been underway for some time to bring them to the Orton Geological Museum. An online fundraiser that ended March 31 brought in nearly $50,000 of the $80,000 cost; events such as the June 13 gathering in Clintonville are being scheduled to make up the difference.

"It would bring a lot more people to the museum," said Dale Gnidovec, curator and collections manager.

He said the museum is a "hidden gem," and having the dinosaur skeleton could serve to interest more young people in science.

"Every third-grader is a paleontologist," Gnidovec said. "Dinosaurs are the gateway drug to science."

"Really, it would mean everything," said Andrew Woodruff, a recent graduate of the paleontology program at OSU. "It's a symbol of progress at Ohio State."

Woodruff said the dinosaur bug bit him when he was a child.

"They're just so fascinating and massive, and they're real," he said.

Right now, the Orton Geological Museum, which Gnidovec said is in "desperate need of renovation," sees about 30,000 visitors a year, said Director William I. Ausich.

"If we could have a dinosaur there, it would be a magnet," he said. "It might double that. It's just a draw -- a draw for kids of all ages.

"The more young kids we can reach and get enthused about science, the better we are."

"It's bound to give one a certain amount of pleasure and gratification," Elliot, who earned his doctorate in 1965 from Birmingham University in England, said of having a dinosaur on campus named for him.

He added, however, that he thinks the existing replica of the skull of Cryolophosaurus ellioti is "quite sufficient."

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1