About: Scientific Consultant Matthew Lamanna


Matthew Lamanna is the scientific consultant for Egypt’s Prehistoric Wildlife; AUC Press Nature Foldout

Matt Lamanna is Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA.

From the Carnegie Museum of Natural History website:

In 2000, Lamanna was on the team led by fellow Penn graduate student Joshua Smith that searched western Egypt for a lost dinosaur site first discovered by a German paleontologist in 1911. There, at Bahariya Oasis, they discovered a sauropod (a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur) as long as 80 feet and weighing 40-50 tons. Called Paralititan (“tidal giant”) because it died in an ancient coastal environment, it was one of the largest animals ever to walk the earth. The expedition was funded by the A&E network and resulted in a two-hour documentary, The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt, and a book published by Random House. It also gave Lamanna immediate professional visibility, and it was one of the best examples of a new approach to finding financial backing for scientific field work—entertainment networks such as A&E have begun to sponsor research that could later produce popular material about science.

“Most Egyptians don’t know that their country is a rich source of dinosaur fossils,” Lamanna says. “Antiquities have mostly overshadowed paleontology in Egypt for a long time. A giant carnivorous theropod dinosaur, Spinosaurus, and other fossil animals discovered by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer in the early 20th century, were taken to Munich where they were completely destroyed during Allied attacks on the city in World War II.” Lamanna hopes to help bring paleontology to the forefront in Egypt, and he plans to return to the Bahariya Oasis again to continue his research.

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