A ginormous dinosaur fossil has been found in Portugal, and it may be the largest dinosaur ever found in Europe.
Portuguese paleontologists have so far unearthed a huge rib cage, which they believe to belong to a long-necked sauropod that lived 150 million years ago. The estimated size for the dinosaur is 12 metres high, and 25 metres long.
The dinosaur was discovered in a back garden in the Portuguese city of Pombal back in 2017. The owner of the property had found fragments of fossilised bone, and contacted local authorities, who in turn contacted researchers at the University of Lisbon.
After working on the site since 2017, the paleontologists finally uncovered the ribs and vertebrae of what they believe to be a Brachiosauridae, a type of sauropod.
Sauropods were the largest of all the dinosaurs. Like all other sauropods, the brachiosauridae was completely herbivorous, with extremely long necks, and walked on four legs. The brachiosauridae first appeared in the Late Jurassic period (between 163 and 145 million years ago.), and disappeared in the Late Cretaceous Period (145.0 million years ago and ended 66 million years ago).
“It is not usual to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this position, maintaining their original anatomical position,” Elisabete Malafaia, post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, told the Phys.org website.
The excavation will continue, with the team of paleontologists hopeful of finding further parts of the dinosaur. Once the specimen is completed, the team believe that it will have “enormous museum potential”.