2021 Niger Expedition in planning

One of the largest and most ambitious paleontological expeditions is in planning—to collect some 25 tons of dinosaurs and other extinct species in Niger’s Sahara Desert.

The 2021 Expedition to Niger aims to excavate some 25 tons of fossil material discovered on previous missions to the country. Expansive fossil-rich areas record a span of almost 100 million years to explore and dig in the heart of the Sahara. The earliest fossils are a series of sites spread across is a vast dusty plain speckled with Acacia trees and patches of rock dating back 180 million years. The youngest skeletons are from a new area of rocks dating back 90 million years with jaws and bones of the sail-backed predator Spinosaurus alongside the bones of several new long-necked sauropods. In between, are new sites with skeletons pertaining to the lower sail-backed spinosaurid Suchomimus and its nemesis, the giant crocodilian Sarcosuchus (aka SuperCroc).

Photo credit Matt Irving