Cosmos Studios, MPH Entertainment and the A&E Network announce capture of major scientific discovery on film

May 31, 2001

Discovery of new genus of dinosaur - second most massive ever to walk the earth - to be presented in 'The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt' documentary to be broadcast on A&E

LOS ANGELES, CA., JUNE 1, 2001 Cosmos Studios announced that the dramatic discovery, revealed today in the pages of the prestigious journal, Science, of "Paralititan stromeri," a newly discovered genus of dinosaur estimated to be 80-100 feet long and potentially weighing as much as 70 tons, was captured on film in MPH Entertainment's production of "The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt" to be aired this fall on the A&E Network.

In early 2000, a team of young scientists, led by 30-year-old Ph.D. candidate Josh Smith of the University of Pennsylvania, headed for the remote western desert of Egypt in search of German paleontologist Ernst Stromer's (1870-1952) fabled lost dinosaurs. MPH provided seed money for the dig. Cosmos Studios financed the seven-week expedition and MPH's high definition feature-length documentary. Cosmos Studios intends to theatrically distribute the two-hour film prior to its premiere television broadcast on A&E. Recently, A&E and Cosmos Studios signed an exclusive and extensive marketing and programming co-development and co-production relationship with Cosmos Studios. The relationship will feature a wide range of consumer and educational media offerings, as well as groundbreaking and informative television specials for the Network. "The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt" is the first of four specials and will air on A&E in the fourth quarter of 2001. "The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt" is also the first in a series of collaborations between Cosmos Studios and MPH.

"When Cosmos Studios' President Kent Gibson brought this project to us, it seemed to embody everything we hope Cosmos Studios will come to signify," said CEO, Ann Druyan. "A gripping Indian Jones-style adventure story in which a major scientific discovery unfolds before your very eyes. MPH's Jim Milio, Melissa Peltier and Mark Hufnail have created an inspiring film about a team of young scientists in pursuit of a mystery from a long lost world. The publication of the resulting paper in the journal Science affirms the importance and authenticity of that quest."

"This is A&E's first foray into the hard science and technology genre, an undertaking we would only pursue with partners such as Cosmos Studios and MPH," said Allen Sabinson, A&E's Senior VP of Programming. "We are excited to air "The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt" documentary on our Network."

MPH cameras rolled as the Penn expedition succeeded in recovering the lost dinosaur sites of German paleontologist Ernst Stromer, who discovered four new species of dinosaurs in Egypt during expeditions from 1910-1914. Stromer uncovered remnants of a Cretaceous-Period eco-system from 100 million years ago, including three Tyrannosaurus-rex-sized predators, the most famous of which, Spinosaurus, sported a five-foot tall sail down its back.

Stromer's Egyptian discoveries were destroyed in an Allied bombing raid during World War II and no official dinosaur expedition had ever returned to this remote part of Egypt until the Penn team's arrival in January of 2000. During a six-week field season, the group recovered nearly 6,000 pounds of dinosaur bones and other fossils to examine. Their research is ongoing.

The fourteen members of the Penn team were led by 30-year-old Penn graduate student Josh Smith and supervised by world-renowned paleontologist, Dr. Peter Dodson. Other members include Penn professor Dr. Robert Giegengack, geologist Dr. Ken Lacovara of Drexel University, Ph.D. candidate in paleontology Matt Lamanna, Ph.D. candidate in geology Jen Smith and Jason Poole, bone preparator for Philadelphia's Academy of Natural Sciences. The team discovered startling new facts about this ancient ecosystem that will also be examined in the documentary.

"As a filmmaker, it's thrilling to be at ground zero when history is being made by people like Josh Smith and his colleagues who possess such passion for their work," noted the film's director, Jim Milio.

"The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt," a Cosmos Studios presentation of an MPH Entertainment production, was filmed on location in Egypt, Germany, and the United States. The documentary will include state-of-the-art computer graphic animation of Stromer's lost dinosaurs, as well as the Penn team's new discovery, Paralititan.

"The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt" was written by Jim Milio and Melissa Jo Peltier and produced by Milio, Peltier and Mark Hufnail. Executive producers are Cosmos Studios principals, Ann Druyan and Kent Gibson. The project is produced by MPH Entertainment in association with Last Word Productions.

Cosmos Studios funded a follow-up expedition and feature-length documentary chronicling the team's second field season in Egypt that promises new revelations and discoveries as well.
-end-
Founded by CEO Ann Druyan together with company President Kent Gibson, Cosmos Studios seeks to build on the legacy of Dr. Carl Sagan by supporting groundbreaking scientific research, clean high technology and bold exploration - and engaging the widest possible audience in the romance of the adventure. Cosmos Studios' first presentation was its updating of the landmark COSMOS television series and its broadcast and re-issue on home video and DVD. Among its current projects is the launch of the spacecraft Cosmos I, the first Solar Sail in history, in collaboration with The Planetary Society and the A&E Television Network. The mission will also be documented by MPH and broadcast on A&E.

Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail launched MPH Entertainment, Inc. in 1996. MPH specializes in the writing, directing and production of independent feature films, television series and specials. In just over four years, MPH has produced over 125 hours of primetime television programming and one independent feature film. Notable among MPH's many projects are The History Channel's "Founding Fathers," "Discovery Channel's Eco-Challenge Australia," "Las Vegas: Gamble in the Desert" and "Sea Tales," both for A&E Network.

Winner of the 2000 Governors Award from The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for The Biography Project for Schools and the prestigious Peabody Award for "The Crossing," A&E offers viewers a unique blend of original programming, including the highly acclaimed BIOGRAPHY® series, original movies, drama series, and documentaries. A&E is available in more than 81 million Nielsen homes in the United States. The A&E web site is located at http://www.AandE.com, the BIOGRAPHY web site is located at http://www.Biography.com, and the mysteries web is at http://www.mysteries.com.

Cosmos Studios/MPH Entertainment

Related Dinosaur Articles from Brightsurf:

Cracking the secrets of dinosaur eggshells
Since the famous discovery of dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert in the early 1920s, the fossilized remains have captured the imaginations of paleontologists and the public, alike.

Dinosaur feather study debunked
A new study published in ''Scientific Reports'' provides substantial evidence that the first fossil feather ever to be discovered does belong to the iconic bird-like dinosaur, Archaeopteryx.

How to weigh a dinosaur
A new study looks at dinosaur body mass estimation techniques revealing different approaches still yield strikingly similar results.

How dinosaur research can help medicine
The intervertebral discs connect the vertebrae and give the spine its mobility.

New species of dinosaur discovered on Isle of Wight
A new study by Palaeontologists at the University of Southampton suggests four bones recently found on the Isle of Wight belong to new species of theropod dinosaur, the group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern-day birds.

First dinosaur eggs were soft like a turtle's
New research suggests that the first dinosaurs laid soft-shelled eggs -- a finding that contradicts established thought.

To think like a dinosaur
Palaeontologists from St Petersburg University have been the first to study in detail the structure of the brain and blood vessels in the skull of the ankylosaur Bissektipelta archibaldi.

New feathered dinosaur was one of the last surviving raptors
Dineobellator notohesperus lived 67 million years ago. Steven Jasinski, who recently earned his doctorate from the School of Arts and Sciences working with Peter Dodson, also of the School of Veterinary Medicine, described the find.

The dinosaur in the cupboard under the stairs
The mystery surrounding dinosaur footprints on a cave ceiling in Central Queensland has been solved after more than a half a century.

How did dinosaur parents know when their kids had a fever?
How Did Dinosaur Parents Know When Their Kids Had a Fever?

Read More: Dinosaur News and Dinosaur Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.