82ft Dinosaur Skeleton Discovered In Man's Backyard In Portugal

A remarkable discovery has been made in Portugal after the skeleton of an 82ft-long dinosaur was found in a man's backyard.

Sauropod dinosaur skeleton
Instituto Dom Luiz (Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal)

Experts from Portugal and Spain who have been working on the site in the city of Pombal believe that the skeleton is likely to be the biggest Sauropod dinosaur ever to be found in Europe.

Sauropods were plant-eating dinosaurs that were distinguished by their long necks and tails.

The excavation of the site began back in 2017 when the landowner uncovered bone fragments on his property during construction works.

Researchers working at the site say that over the course of the last few weeks they have unearthed the vertebrae and ribs of a Brachiosaurid Sauropod, or Brachiosaurus, that would have stood around 39ft (12m) tall and have been approximately 82ft (25m) long.

Sauropod dinosaur
Sauropods were huge herbivores and one of the largest, tallest, and heaviest dinosaurs

The Brachiosauridae group is made up of large species that existed from the Upper Jurassic period to the Lower Cretaceous, around 160 to 100 million years ago.

Elisabete Malafaia, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lisbon, said: "It is not usual to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this position, maintaining their original anatomical position. "This mode of preservation is relatively uncommon in the fossil record of dinosaurs, in particular sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic."

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