A MONGOLIAN dinosaur expert invited to England by Dorset's Scientific Exploration Society packed something very strange in his suitcase.

The Dorset-based society welcomed palaeontology professor Altangerel Perle who brought with him an 80-million-year-old skull.

Prof Perle discovered the skull of dinosaur Erlicosaurus Andrewsi in the Gobi Desert.

And after its 4,000-mile journey the 18-million-year-old skull got some 21st century treatment when a palaeobiology lecturer scanned it and digitally pieced it together.

The Scientific Exploration Society invited the Mongolian professor to take on a lecture tour of Portsmouth, Bristol and Cambridge Universities and the Natural History Museum.

Prof Perle is based in the Geology department of the National University of Mongolia in the capital, Ulaanbaatar.

The Exploration Society will be flying out to join him later this year to continue their palaeontological research in the Gobi Desert.

In 2005, an SES team unearthed a perfectly preserved leg and foot skeleton of the giant flesh eating Tarbosaurus Bataar, an Asian relative of the North American Tyrannosaurus Rex.

In 2006 they discovered seven dinosaur eggs and a complete turtle shell with tail.

And high up in the southern Ikh Bogd mountain range they found evidence of the endangered snow leopard.

This time, as well as palaeontological research, the team will be studying the endangered Gobi Bear, Bactrian Camel, and rodents, snakes and lizards.

They will also take on community work, giving equipment to schools and hospitals, and an expedition dentist will provide basic dentistry to nomadic families the team will meet along their way.

Self-funded volunteers are welcome to find out more about the expedition from mid-June to mid-July on 01747 854898 or at www.ses-explore.org