Dinosaur rib cage discovered in Portugal

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Home renovations can reveal all sorts of unexpected objects, but a Portuguese homeowner discovered a hidden treasure on another scale when he came across what could be Europe’s largest. dinosaur remains.

In early August, a team of Portuguese and Spanish researchers unearthed parts of what they believe to be a fossilized brachiosaurid sauropod skeleton at Monte Agudo, Pombal, Portugal, according to a press release last week.

Sauropods – which included the largest dinosaurs in the world – were herbivorous dinosaurs recognizable by their long necks and tails. Based on the remains discovered, researchers estimate that the dinosaur was about 12 meters (39 feet) tall and 25 meters (82 feet) long.

The team has so far unearthed significant parts of the skeleton, including vertebrae and ribs.

“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 Faculty of Science of University of Lisbon, in the press release.

“This mode of preservation is relatively rare in the fossil record of dinosaurs, especially sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.”

Researchers believe the remains could be around 39 feet tall and 82 feet long.

The discovery is part of an ongoing project, which began in 2017.

That year, while construction work was underway on the property, the homeowner noticed several fossilized bone fragments in his yard, the statement said.

He contacted the research team, which began the first excavation that year.

Steve Brusatte, a paleontologist and professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, who was not involved in the project, called it “gobsmacking – a dinosaur ribcage sticking out of someone’s backyard”.

“(It shows) that you can potentially find them anywhere there are rocks of the right age and type to preserve Jurassic bones, whether it’s in the badlands or in someone’s backyard,” a- he told CNN, adding that the search for dinosaur remains involves chance and circumstance. In the dry badlands, wind and water erosion exposes the rock, and the topography is often a hotspot for fossils.

The research highlights the importance of vertebrate fossil records in the Portuguese region of Pombal.

The dinosaurs of the Brachiosauridae group, of which the skeleton is thought to belong, lived between the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous periods about 160 to 100 million years ago, the press release adds.

This is not the first discovery of fossilized dinosaurs in Europe recently. In June, it was reported that the remains of a spinosaurid – a bipedal predatory dinosaur with a crocodile-like face – had been found on the Isle of Wight, an island south of England.

Elsewhere in the world, a new species of carnivorous dinosaur which was 11 meters (36 feet) long with arms similar to Tyrannosaurus Rex was discovered in northern Patagonia, Argentina, scientists announced last month.

The preservation of the skeleton found in Pombal indicates that more could be uncovered, with further excavations planned at the site.

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