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They find in Portugal fossils of what could be the largest dinosaur in Europe

They find in Portugal the remains of what could be the largest dinosaur in Europe discovered so far . The team of paleontologists responsible for the excavation believes that the fossils belong to a sauropod, a herbivorous dinosaur 12 meters tall and 25 meters long that would have inhabited planet Earth about 150 million years ago.

“It is one of the largest specimens discovered in Europe, perhaps in the world,” paleontologist Elisabete Malafaia, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, told the France Press news agency on Monday.

The bones were found in the garden of a house in the city of Pombal , in central Portugal. The owner of the property was digging in the garden to make an extension and discovered what could be fossilized bones. He then notified the University of Lisbon. This happened in 2017, at which time the excavation work was launched.

In early August 2022, the team of Portuguese and Spanish paleontologists unearthed part of the dinosaur’s skeleton . Scientists believe that the fossil remains would have belonged to a sauropod. This type of herbivorous dinosaur, which includes brontosaurus and diplodocus, is characterized by having a long neck and tail and walking on all fours. It is one of the largest animals that have inhabited the Earth.

The fossils discovered at the Monte Agudo site, in Pombal, would be specifically of a brachiosaurid that lived in the Upper Jurassic.

The fact that the vertebrae and ribs of the large extinct reptile were found in the same place and position as they would have been in the dinosaur’s body is “relatively rare,” Malafaia said.

Paleontologists keep looking for more bones

The Brachiosauridae group is made up of huge animals that lived from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous, approximately 160-100 million years ago. These animals had specially developed forelimbs.

Some of the most popular dinosaurs are part of this group of sauropods. We are referring to Brachiosaurus altithorax and Giraffatitan brancai . Also Lusotitan atalaiensis , the species from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic located west of Portugal.

The state of conservation of the fossils, as well as their arrangement, lead us to believe that there are more parts of the skeleton of the discovered dinosaur in the area. For this reason, paleontologists hope to carry out further excavations at the site.

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