From the excavation site of the sauropods near Remlia to the mountains around Iferda N’Ahouar, all the way til the Zrigat excavations, where the Spinosaurus was found. The story in pictures of the expedition in the south-eastern desert of Morocco organized by the National Geographic Society with the Civic Natural History Museum of Milan in April 2015.
Spinosaurus (meaning “spine lizard”) is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived in what now is North Africa, during the lower Albian to lower Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 97 million years ago. Spinosaurus was among the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, possibly larger than Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus. Among the most valued of the finds are dinosaur bones from the Kem Kem beds, a 150-mile-long escarpment harboring deposits dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period, 100 to 94 million years ago. This genus was known first from Egyptian remains discovered in 1912 and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in 1915. The original remains were destroyed in World War II.
After a young paleontologist named Nizar Ibrahim tracked down in 2013 a fouilleur – a local fossil hunter who sells his wares to shops and dealers – who was able to help him discover a new set of bones belonging to a young specimen of Spinosaurus, he’s had the chance to go back to the excavation site in order to collect all the remains he could. The pictures of this reportage are the documentation of his last expedition in the Kem Kem desert.
The reportage was published on National Geographic Italy and Germany.