Location: Northern Niger, Agadez region
Age of fossil beds: Lower Cretaceous, 135 million years old
Primary Goals: Excavate dinosaur graveyard, further explore lower Cretaceous beds in the region


Discovery of Afrovenator first relatively complete predatory dinosaur from the lower cretaceous of Africa; partial excavation of dinosaur graveyard; excavation of near-complete skeleton of sauropod, later named Jobaria.

Scientific Announcements

Afrovenator – announced October 10, 1994

Press Release


Afrovenator and a giant sauropod

The 1993 expedition returned to the sauropod graveyard Dr. Sereno discovered on his trip to Niger in 1990. The team flew from Chicago to London, loaded their trucks with equipment which had been shipped from Chicago in massive metal shipping containers, took the ferry to France and began driving south. They drove through the south of France and then traveled by ship across the Mediterranean, landing in Algeria. The team then drove more than a thousand miles through Algeria, into the Sahara Desert and finally into the heart of Niger where they could finally begin their work.

Sauropod Site in Niger, 1993

Excavating the giant sauropod is hard labor that must be done very carefully. First each bone is carved out of the solid rock its been encased in for 130 million years. Team members must then wrap the bones in paster jackets to protect them during their journey to the dinosaur lab in Chicago where the bones will be studied.

The team has no lifting equipment in the desert—they must use brute force to heave each massive bone out of the ground and into the trucks, all in the heat of the Sahara Desert.