PORTUGAL. Pombal: The last thing a Portuguese man expected to find in his backyard in 2017 was a 25-meter-long fossilised dinosaur skeleton, but now researchers think he may have stumbled onto the largest of its kind in Europe.
- Five years ago, while doing work, the property owner found shards of fossilised bones in his yard.
- Palaeontologists spent 10 days earlier this month locating vertebrae and ribs.
- The bones may be those of a sauropod known as a brachiosaurid.
A property owner in Pombal, Portugal discovered many shards of fossilised bones in his yard five years ago while working on a building.
A group of palaeontologists from Spain and Portugal spent 10 days at the Monte Agudo palaeontological site in Pombal earlier this month.
They claim to have found the vertebrae and ribs of a potential brachiosaurid sauropod, which would have measured about 25 metres long and 12 metres tall.
The largest terrestrial animal to have ever existed is said to have been a sauropod.The skeleton may be that of the largest sauropod dinosaur ever found in Europe, according to the experts.
The skeleton was discovered in the position that the scientists think the animal died in.
Elisabete Malafaia, a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, told Phys.org, “It is not normal to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this configuration, keeping their original anatomical position.”
This type of preservation is exceedingly uncommon in the Upper Jurassic fossil record of dinosaurs from Portugal, particularly sauropods.
The palaeontologists express optimism that more of the skeleton can still be found.