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Man discovers 82ft-long dinosaur skeleton in his garden

Aisha Nozari

Published 
| Last updated 

Man discovers 82ft-long dinosaur skeleton in his garden

Featured Image Credit: Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

A man in Portugal discovered the skeleton of an 82ft-long dinosaur when he had construction work done on his garden.

Back in 2017, the homeowner spotted bone fragments as ground was dug up, but it was only in recent weeks that researchers made some of their most incredible discoveries. 

Palaeontologists from Spain and Portugal now think they’ve stumbled upon the remains of the biggest sauropod dinosaur ever to be found in Europe.

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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
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

Over the last couple of weeks, researchers unearthed the vertebrae and ribs of what they think is a brachiosaurid sauropod, or brachiosaurus.

The dinosaur would have stood at around 39ft tall and probably been a whopping 82ft long.

Sauropods, a plant-eating dinosaur, were characterised by their long necks and tails and are part of the Brachiosauridae group that lived around 160 to 100 million years ago between the Upper Jurassic period and the Lower Cretaceous.

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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.”

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

Dinosaurs went extinct around 65 million years ago, yet palaeontologists are still uncovering fossils to this day.

Back in March, the remains of a new spiky species of dinosaur were unearthed in southwestern China.

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

As detailed in a study published in eLife, scientists led by the Natural History Museum in London were tasked with specifying the remains after they were unearthed in Yunnan Province, in southwestern China.

The record-breaking dino, named Yuxisaurus kopchicki, is part of the group that also includes Stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus and dates back to the Early Jurassic period around 174-192 million years ago.

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

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The first part of the dino’s name is a reference to the location the remains were discovered, while the second (kopchicki) is a nod to Dr John J. Kopchick, a molecular biologist who's made significant contributions to the field 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."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, World News, Animals, Science

Aisha Nozari
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