Man discovers 82ft-long dinosaur skeleton in his garden

The homeowner discovered bone fragments while digging in 2017, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers made some of their most stunning finds.

Palaeontologists from Spain and Portugal believe they have discovered the remains of Europe’s largest sauropod dinosaur.

A man in Portugal discovered the skeleton of an 82ft-long dinosaur when he had construction work done on his garden. Credit: Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal

Researchers recently discovered the vertebrae and ribs of what they believe to be a brachiosaurid sauropod, or brachiosaurus.

The dinosaur would have stood roughly 39 feet tall and was probably 82 feet long.

Sauropods, plant-eating dinosaurs, were distinguished by their long necks and tails and lived during the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous periods between 160 to 100 million years ago.

Of the exciting find, 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.”

The research underlines the importance of the fossil record of vertebrate in Portugal’s Pombal region.

Malafaia added: “This mode of preservation is relatively uncommon in the fossil record of dinosaurs, in particular sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.”

Dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, yet palaeontologists are still discovering fossils today.

In March, the remains of a new spiky dinosaur species were discovered in southwestern China.

Palaeontologists think they’ve stumbled upon the remains of the biggest sauropod dinosaur ever found in Europe. Credit: Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Scientists lead by the Natural History Museum in London were entrusted with identifying the remains when they were discovered in Yunnan Province, in southwestern China, according to a report published in eLife.

The dinosaur, Yuxisaurus kopchicki, is part of a group that includes Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus and dates back to the Early Jurassic period, approximately 174-192 million years ago.

It’s said to be the earliest well-preserved armoured dinosaur found anywhere in Asia to date.

The first half of the dinosaur’s name refers to the area where the remains were discovered, while the second (kopchicki) honors Dr. John J. Kopchick, a molecular biologist who has made major contributions to the study of biology and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Paul Barrett, one of the main authors on the study, told MailOnline: “Although we’ve had tantalising fragments of early armoured dinosaurs from Asia, this is the first time we’ve had enough material to recognise a new species from the region and investigate its evolutionary history.

“I hope it’s the first of many new dinosaurs from the localities being discovered by my colleagues in Yunnan.”

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