Portugal dinosaur: Giant sauropod skeleton found in man’s backyard

When tending to the garden, most people wouldn’t expect to encounter anything larger than an overgrown weed.

However, one man in Portugal got a bit more than he bargained for while digging on his property, as he found an enormous set of fossilised dinosaur bones.

After studying the skeleton, scientists found they belonged to an 82-foot (25-metre) brachiosaurus that lived between 160 and 100 million years ago.

This could be the largest sauropod dinosaur – a subgroup characterised by their four legs, long neck and tail and herbivorous diet – ever to be found in Europe.

Elisabete Malafaia, a researcher from 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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