Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

African Dinosaurs Unearthed: The Tendaguru Expeditions


Series: Life of the Past

By: Gerhard Maier (Author)

380 pages, 50 b/w photos, 7 maps

Indiana University Press

Hardback | Oct 2003 | #137567 | ISBN: 0253342147
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Special Offer Price: £33.99 £40.99 (Save £7.00) $42/€38 approx (ends 31/12/2016)

About this book

From 1907 to 1931 at Tendaguru, a remote site in present-day Tanzania, teams of German (and later British) paleontologists unearthed 220 tons of fossils, including the bones of a new dinosaur, one of the largest then known. For decades the mounted skeleton of this giant, Brachiosaurus, was the largest skeleton of a land animal on exhibit in the world. The dinosaur and other animal fossils found at Tendaguru form one of the cornerstones of our understanding of life in the Mesozoic era. Visited sporadically during the '30s and '40s, Tendaguru again became the site of scientific interest late in the 20th century. African Dinosaurs Unearthed tells the story of driven scientific adventurers working under difficult conditions and often paying the price with their health – and sometimes with their lives. Set against the background of a troubled century, African Dinosaurs Unearthed reveals how scientific endeavors were carried on through war and political turmoil, and continue into the present day.

"Gerhard Maier's African Dinosaurs Unearthed details exactly how one of the world's biggest caches of dinosaur fossils was excavated and recovered [...] a fascinating story well told by a professional palaeontologist who really knows what he is writing about."
New Scientist, 24 January 2004

"I thoroughly enjoyed African Dinosaurs Unearthed and recommend it to anyone interested in the history of research on Mesozoic fauna. As a story of personal toil in the African bush, as a detailed source on Hennig, Janensch, Cutler and other palaeontologists, as a story of palaeontological discovery, and as a meticulous documentation of the history and discoveries of Tendaguru, it exceeds expectations and sets a high standard."
Palaeontological Newsletter, Issue 56, 2004



1. 1907: Fraas and Something Curious in the African Bush
2. 1908: Von Branca and a Matter of National Honour
3. 1909: Janensch, Hennig, and a Cemetery of Giants
4. 1909-1910: Geology in the Rain and Comets, Stegosaurs, and Iguanodonts
5. 1911: Along the Railway and Expansion, Exhaustion, and Completion?
6. 1911-1912: A Museum Overflows - The Recks find Iguanodonts, Pterosaurs, and a Fossilized Forest
7. 1913-1918: Fresh Discoveries and a Bitter War
8. 1919-1924: The British Museum in Tanganyika Territory
9. 1924-1925: Cutler, Leakey, and a Difficult Start
10. 1925: Berlin Builds Dinosaurs
11. 1925: A Death in Africa
12. 1925: Migeod - A New Recruit
13. 1925-1926: An Expedition Saved
14. 1926-1927: Berlin in Chaos and Parkinson Reviews Stratigraphy
15. 1927-1929: Kenyan Interlude, Geology at Tendaguru, and Desperate Finances
16. 1929: Migeod Returns
17. 1930: Migeod and Parrington, Tendaguru and Nyasaland
18. 1931-1939: Hennig Returns and Berlin's Museum Triumphs
19. 1939-1976: Destruction and Renewal
20. 1971-2001: Russell to Africa, Brachiosaurus to Tokyo, Berlin to Tendaguru
21. A Significant Contribution


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Gerhard Maier has spent ten years working in archaeology and vertebrate paleontology. Formerly a technician at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, he now works as a data analyst for a major oil company. A lifelong interest in dinosaurs, travel, and history has culminated in this volume.

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