BWW Feature: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE SPEAKER SERIES at The Smith Center For The Performing Arts

BWW Feature: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE SPEAKER SERIES  at The Smith Center For The Performing Arts

Audiences can experience adventure on stage at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts National Geographic Live series. National Geographic's touring speaker series, a first for Southern Nevada, will first present "Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous" with paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim on Sept. 28.

Ibrahim is passionate about his work and, as one of the youngest paleontologists to ever lead an excavation into the Sahara Desert, he has quite the story to share. Travel, mystery, and discovery are just part of his experience. Ibrahim also faced a dangerous environment and immense challenges to unearth his breakthrough discoveries.

"There is a black market which is a problem for science. The Sahara Desert is a big and somewhat lawless place. Sometimes we would need a military escort, and we would have to alert the local authorities during our expeditions," Ibrahim explained to "There are kidnappers, smugglers, and other elements that require caution. However, there are wonderful people in the desert as well."

Among his most significant finds was the Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered. "For the longest time, we only had drawings. These were tantalizing clues, and we knew it had big, tall spines on its back. I never thought I would come across the bones of the Spinosaurus in 2008. It is more bizarre than we thought with long, slender jaws much like a crocodile." Ibrahim also unearthed a vast, ancient world of long-lost dinosaur fossils, including predators the size of school buses.

"I have always been interested in the natural world, animals, and the history of life on our planet. It began for me with a book about dinosaurs and visits to natural history museums," he said. "When I was introduced to paleontology, I was hooked."

Educated in bio and geosciences, Ibrahim obtained his degree in geology and biology at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, his doctorate in paleontology at University College Dublin in Ireland and postdoctoral experience in anatomy and bioinformatics at the University of Chicago.

While based in the United States, when flying into Las Vegas, "I have to check my calendar and make certain I am not landing in the Sahara Desert." He does have an expedition scheduled before the series with the opportunity to learn even more about the prehistoric world.

His discoveries have transformed science's understanding of dinosaurs and Ibrahim's multi-media presentation will feature CGI imagery of this ancient world of giant dinosaurs.

The Smith Center will present National Geographic Live "Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous" with paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 28. Two additional programs will be offered in 2019. Individual tickets and full series can be purchased at

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From This Author Debbie Hall

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