The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurft

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Synopsis

The date is January 11, 1911. A young German paleontologist, accompanied only by a guide, a cook, four camels, and a couple of camel drivers, reaches the lip of the vast Bahariya Depression after a long trek across the bleak plateau of the western desert of Egypt. The scientist, Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbach, hopes to find fossil evidence of early mammals. In this, he will be disappointed, for the rocks here will prove to be much older than he thinks. They are nearly a hundred million years old. Stromer is about to learn that he has walked into the age of the dinosaurs.

At the bottom of the Bahariya Depression, Stromer will find the remains of four immense and entirely new dinosaurs, along with dozens of other unique specimens. But there will be reversals—shipments delayed for years by war, fossils shattered in transit, stunning personal and professional setbacks. Then, in a single cataclysmic night, all of his work will be destroyed and Ernst Stromer will slip into history and be forgotten.

The date is January 11, 2000—eighty-nine years to the day after Stromer descended into Bahariya. Another young paleontologist, Ameri-can graduate student Josh Smith, has brought a team of fellow scientists to Egypt to find Stromer’s dinosaur graveyard and resurrect the German pioneer’s legacy. After weeks of digging, often under appalling conditions, they fail utterly at rediscovering any of Stromer’s dinosaur species.

Then, just when they are about to declare defeat, Smith’s team discovers a dinosaur of such staggering immensity that it will stun the world of paleontology and make headlines around the globe.

Masterfully weaving together history, science, and human drama, The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt is the gripping account of not one but two of the twentieth century’s great expeditions of discovery.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About William Nothdurft

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William Nothdurft is the author, coauthor, or ghostwriter of nearly a dozen books, including the award-winning Ghosts of Everest, about the search for the missing mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Josh Smith served six years in the U.S. Army before getting his B.Sc. from the University of Massachusetts and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in paleontology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an assistant professor at Washington University.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published September 24, 2002 by Random House. 256 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Children's Books. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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All five were principal members of the Bahariya Dinosaur Project, which in 1999 set out to follow in the footsteps of long-forgotten German aristocrat and scientist Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Reichenbch whose pre-WWI explorations of the Bahariya Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert yielded the first f...

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Publishers Weekly

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Based on Stromer's detailed but rather dry journal entries and vivid, often humorous, testimonies from Smith and his research team, this lucid account highlights Stromer's discoveries (which include, among others, the bones of three predatory dinosaurs) and chronicles recent findings by Smith and...

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