A man carrying out construction work in his garden in Portugal has unearthed fossilized bones, which have now been identified as the skeleton of an 82ft-long dinosaur – possibly the largest ever found in Europe, a statement said Press.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science said in a statement Wednesday that the initial discovery was made in 2017 in the Portuguese town of Pombal.
Paleontologists from Portugal and Spain who have worked at the site since then say the bones could be those of a sauropod dinosaur measuring 39 feet tall and 82 feet long.
Sauropods were four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs with long necks and long tails that lived from the Late Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous, around 160 to 100 million years ago.
The international team of researchers spent more than a week in early August collecting key parts of the towering skeleton, including vertebrae and ribs.
“It is not usual to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this position, retaining their original anatomical position. This mode of preservation is relatively rare in the dinosaur fossil record, in particular of sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic,” said Elisabete Malafaia, postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, in the press release.
Malafaia told CBS News that the ribs were nearly 10 feet long, making them “the largest ribs of a sauropod currently known in Europe and one of the largest described anywhere in the world.”
The recovered skeletal fragments will be cleaned and stabilized in a lab, documented and studied before being put on display in a museum, Malafaia told Newsweek.
Based on the preservation and positioning of the bones removed from the site, researchers suspect there may be more fossils buried in Pombal’s backyard, and they plan to continue excavation work next year. next.
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