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Michael Crichton’s “Dragon Teeth” has been acquired by HarperCollins for publication in May — the third posthumous novel to be released from the bestselling author.

HarperCollins made the announcement Thurday, describing “Dragon Teeth” as a fictional recounting of the actual rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh during “The Bone Wars” of the 1870s.

“The story unfolds through the adventures of a young fictional character named William Johnson who is apprenticed first to one, then to the other and not only makes discoveries of historic proportion, but transforms into an inspiring hero only Crichton could have imagined,” the publisher said.

“Known for his meticulous research, Crichton uses Marsh and Copes’ heated competition during the ‘Bone Wars’ — the golden age of American fossil hunting — as the basis for a thrilling story set in the wilds of the American West.”

Crichton, who died in 2008, authored a dozen books that were made into movies including “The Andromeda Strain,” “Jurassic Park,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” “Congo,” “The First Great Train Robbery,” “Rising Sun” and “Sphere.” He directed “The First Great Train Robbery,” “Westworld” and “Coma” from his own screenplays and co-wrote the screenplays for “Twister,” “Jurassic Park” and  “Rising Sun.”

Crichton’s first posthumous novel, “Pirate Latitudes” was published in 2009 after an assistant discovered the manuscript on the author’s computer. The second, “Micro,” was completed by Richard Preston and came out in 2011.

Crichton’s widow Sherri said, “When I came across the ‘Dragon Teeth’ manuscript in the files, I was immediately captivated. It has Michael’s voice, his love of history, research and science all dynamically woven into an epic tale.”

Publisher Jonathan Burham said, “This is pure Crichton, the work of an exuberant imagination operating at full blast, taking readers on a ride into a world of wild adventure, with a plot full of exciting twists and turns, and a host of memorable characters. It harkens back to some of the great historical novels that Michael wrote – such as The Great Train Robbery – but it also looks forward to Crichton fiction that explored more futuristic scenarios.”

Sloan Harris and Jennifer Joel of ICM Partners and Michael S. Sherman of Reed Smith LLP represented Sherri Crichton and CrichtonSun. Jonathan Burnham and Jennifer Barth represented HarperCollins.