An 82-foot-long dinosaur skeleton has been discovered in a man’s garden in central Portugal.
Spanish and Portuguese paleontologists working at the site in the city of Pombal believe they may be the remains of Europe’s largest sauropod dinosaur.
Sauropods are four-legged herbivorous dinosaurs characterized by a long neck and a long tail.
The excavations began when the owner first noticed bone fragments on his property in 2017 during construction work.
Researchers say that over the past few weeks they have unearthed the vertebrae and ribs of a possible brachiosaurid sauropod, or brachiosaurus, which is believed to have been around 39ft (12m) tall and around 82ft (25m) wide. long.
The Brachiosauridae group is made up of large species that lived from the Late Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous, around 160 to 100 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,” said Elisabete Malafaia, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lisbon.
“This mode of preservation is relatively rare in the fossil record of dinosaurs, especially sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.”