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Massive dinosaur skeleton found in Portugal man's backyard

The remains, uncovered in Portugal's Pombal city, are believed to belong to a sauropod dinosaur 12 meters high and 25 meters long.

August 27, 2022 / 09:12 PM IST
(Image credit: Instituto Dom Luiz - Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon)

(Image credit: Instituto Dom Luiz - Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon)

The skeleton of a dinosaur, believed to be the biggest-ever found in Europe, was unearthed at a private property in Portugal earlier this month.

The remains, uncovered in Portugal's Pombal city, are believed to belong to a sauropod dinosaur 12 meters high and 25 meters long, the University of Lisbon said in a press release on August 24. An international team of experts is studying it.

Sauropods were the biggest of all dinosaurs and the largest land animals that ever existed on Earth.

It all began in 2017 when a man discovered pieces of fossilised bones in his backyard while carrying out construction. He informed the research team of the University of Lisbon about his discovery and they began an excavation effort the same year.

They were joined by experts from Spain's Evolutionary Biology Group and and Complutense University of Madrid.

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"Portuguese and Spanish paleontologists working on the site have been unearthing what can be the remains of the largest sauropod dinosaur to be found in Europe," the University of Lisbon said.

What's unusual about the discovery is that the skeleton of a creature that existed about 160 million years ago was preserved in its original anatomical position.

“It is not usual to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this position, maintaining their original anatomical position," researcher Elisabete Malafaia said.

"This mode of preservation is relatively uncommon in the fossil record of dinosaurs, in particular sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic," she added.
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first published: Aug 27, 2022 04:53 pm
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