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New Chinsamy Children's Book on African Dinos
Check out the review on Anusuya Chinsamy's latest triumph, "Famous Dinosaurs
of Africa" that is contemporaneous with her new pterodaustro filter-feeder
(I admit I'm prejudiced since she used some of my field photos in the book.)
An arresting book cover, and a new take on dinos sure to grab the public's
Go to the complete review for the Monday Paper of the Univ. of Cape Town for
some more pix & info: http://www.news.uct.ac.za/mondaypaper/?id=6717Monday
University of Cape Town - Monday Paper - Latest edition
Volume 27.02 - 3 March 2008
African dinosaurs emerge from the shadow
Prof Anusuya Chinamy-Turan has published a new African dinosaur book for
children. Featuring 26 of the continent's most famous dinosaurs, it is
published by Struik and will be launched at the SciFest in Grahamstown on 18
April. It is available in bookshops from 1 March.
Successful machine that it is, the American media may have given T Rex its
celebrity status as the most fearsome meat-eating dinosaur to have stomped
the planet, but did you know that the title actually belongs to North
Africa's Carcharodontosaurus (put your teeth in for that one)?
This six-tonner makes Tyrannosaurus, which roamed North America, look like a
wimp on the prehistoric beastie scale.
Dubbed the shark-toothed lizard of the Sahara, Carcharodontosaurus is the
biggest known predator of all time. A product of the Late Cretaceous era
(97-90 million years ago) this whopper grew up to 13m long. Its skull alone
measures 1.6m, and its jaws are lined with 15cm-long teeth. Remains have
been found in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Niger.
Something else you probably didn't know: Africa is also home to the first
stegosaur ever discovered, Paranthodon, which once lived just across the
border in the Eastern Cape.
And more recently, Africa got its first dinosaur name with an isiXhosa
click, Nqwebasaurus thwazi.
Nqwebasaurus is the earliest-known coelurosaur from Gondwana, a small
species unearthed in the Kirkwood Formation (Nqweba is the isiXhosa name for
the Kirkwood region) in the Algoa Basin in 1995.
Information like this seldom reaches the public and for a palaeontologist
like Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, that's not good for science.
Her new children's book, Famous Dinosaurs of Africa, puts African dinosaurs
firmly on the world map - and dispels some of those T Rex myths.
Not that she's interested in one-upmanship.
She wants to introduce African children to their own heritage. Though
African dinosaurs are important to palaeontology, they're often omitted from
"I believe that dinosaurs can be a kind of stepping stone into the world of
A global expert on the microscopic structure of fossil bones, Chinsamy-Turan
recently (2005) published an academic contribution to the field, The
Microstructure of Dinosaur Bone, which has received glowing reviews in
several ISI-rated journals - including Nature.
Her children's book is a first for Africa, completed during her six months'
sabbatical in Turkey, where she also penned five scientific papers, and a
chapter for a book.
South Africa's first dinosaur bones were unearthed in the mid-19th century,
but because the country was a British colony they were shipped back to the
UK to be studied. These bones were misidentified, and it was much later that
they were recognised as belonging to Paranthodon - the stegosaur mentioned
... Go to the review for more!