Portuguese and Spanish researchers have uncovered the fossilized skeleton of what may be the largest dinosaur ever found in Europe.
The find in the garden of a house in Pombal, Portugal, is believed to be a sauropod and “one of the largest specimens discovered in Europe, maybe even in the world,” said paleontologist Elisabete Malafaia of the university’s Faculty of Science Lisbon on Monday the AFP news agency.
Characteristically long necks and tails, sauropods are among the largest animals that have ever lived. The skeleton probably comes from a brachiosaurid that lived in the Upper Jurassic period. The herbivorous dinosaur species was 12 meters high and 25 meters long and lived on Earth about 150 million years ago.
Among the bones, they also found the remains of a rib about three meters long, Malafaia said. The fact that the vertebrae and ribs were found in the same place and position that they would have been in the dinosaur’s anatomy is “relatively rare,” Malafaia said.
The fossil fragments were first discovered in 2017 when the homeowner in Pombal dug up his garden to make room for an extension. He then contacted paleontologists, who dug up part of the dinosaur’s skeleton in early August and have been studying it ever since.