STL Science Center

STL Science Center

13 February 2015

Back to the Mangroves

A long time ago I discussed some dinosaurs that lived in the mangrove swamps of northern Africa in the late Cretaceous. As with many of these northern African dinosaurs, this animal was collected and described in the early 20th Century by the German paleontologist Ernst Stromer. In 1932 the bones attributed to Aegyptosaurus baharijensis were brought back to Europe from its namesake country (Egypt) and Niger and the Sahara as well. The specific name refers to the well known Bahariya Oasis area of Egypt . Ernst Stromer collected these fossils at the same time that he collected a number of other dinosaurs including Spinosaurus. Aegyptosaurus was fated to be stored in the same museum collections as Spinosaurus and unfortunately had the same fate. The fossils of Aegyptosaurus, despite being lost during World War II, revealed before their loss a rather large sauropod related to Argentinosaurus. Many of the illustrations we have of Argentinosaurus are based on the illustrations of Stromer that have been extrapolated and fleshed out.

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