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

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When tending to the garden, most individuals would not expect to come across anything larger than an overgrown weed.

Nonetheless, one man in Portugal got a bit greater than he bargained for while digging on his property, as he found an infinite 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 might be the biggest sauropod dinosaur – a subgroup characterised by their 4 legs, long neck and tail and herbivorous weight loss program – ever to be present in Europe.

Elisabete Malafaia, a researcher from the University of Lisbon, said: ‘It will not be usual to seek out all of the ribs of an animal like this, let alone on this position, maintaining their original anatomical position. 

‘This mode of preservation is comparatively unusual within the fossil record of dinosaurs, particularly sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic.’

Earlier this month, Portuguese and Spanish palaeontologists announced that they had found an roughly 39 feet (12 metres) high and 82 feet (25 metres) long sauropod dinosaur 

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

 This might be the biggest sauropod dinosaur ever to be present in Europe, a subgroup characterised by their 4 legs, long neck and tail and herbivorous weight loss program

Elements of the axial skeleton have been uncovered so far, including vertebrae and ribs that indicate it was a brachiosaurid. Dinosaurs belonging to this group include Brachiosaurus altithorax (pictured) which was animated in the 1993 movie Jurassic Park

Elements of the axial skeleton have been uncovered to this point, including vertebrae and ribs that indicate it was a brachiosaurid. Dinosaurs belonging to this group include Brachiosaurus altithorax (pictured) which was animated within the 1993 movie Jurassic Park

WHAT WERE THE SAUROPODS?

Sauropods are an order of dinosaurs.

That they had very long necks, long tails, small heads (relative to the remaining of their body), and 4 thick, pillar-like legs.

They’re notable for the large sizes attained by some species, and the group includes the biggest creatures to have ever lived on land.

Well-known sauropods include Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and Brontosaurus.

Sauropods first appeared within the late Triassic Period, and by the Late Jurassic period, 150 million years ago, sauropods had turn into widespread. 

In 2017, a house owner from Pombal first noticed fragments of fossilised bones in his yard while performing some construction work.

He contacted the research team, who carried out an excavation of the Monte Agudo site that yr.

But it surely wasn’t until earlier this month that the Portuguese and Spanish palaeontologists announced what that they had found – an roughly 39 feet (12 metres) high and 82 feet (25 metres) long sauropod dinosaur.

Elements of the axial skeleton have been uncovered to this point, including vertebrae and ribs that indicate it was a brachiosaurid.

The Brachiosauridae group lived from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous geological periods.

Unlike other sauropods, they’ve longer forelimbs than their hindlimbs which leads to an extended torso and proportionally shorter tail.

Dinosaurs belonging to this group include Brachiosaurus altithorax – the primary computer-generated dinosaur shown within the 1993 movie Jurassic Park – and Lusotitan atalaiensis which has been present in western Portugal.

Preservation characteristics of the discovered fossils indicate that other parts of the skeleton could still be present within the deposit, which shall be explored in future excavation campaigns.

Ms Malafaia added: ‘The research within the Monte Agudo paleontological locality confirms that the region of Pombal has a crucial fossil record of Late Jurassic vertebrates. 

‘Within the last many years, the region has provided the invention of abundant materials very significant for the knowledge of the continental faunas that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula at about 145 million years ago.’

The skeleton was uncovered at the Monte Agudo palaeontological site in Pombal, Portugal

The skeleton was uncovered on the Monte Agudo palaeontological site in Pombal, Portugal

The Brachiosauridae group lived from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous geological periods. Unlike other sauropods, they have longer forelimbs than their hindlimbs which results in a longer torso and proportionally shorter tail

The Brachiosauridae group lived from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous geological periods. Unlike other sauropods, they’ve longer forelimbs than their hindlimbs which leads to an extended torso and proportionally shorter tail 

The announcement comes only a month after footprints of a 26 foot (eight metre) long sauropod were spotted outside restaurant in China.

Ou Hongtao, a diner at of the restaurant situated in Leshan area, noticed several large pits within the courtyard’s stones. 

Palaeontologists were called to the scene and determined the prints were made by two dinosaurs, marking the primary evidence that they ever roamed in the town. 

The restaurant was previously a chicken farm and at the moment, the footprints were covered by a layer of dirt which protected and preserved them, CNN reported.

The eatery’s owner said he removed the dirt to reveal the massive rocks, but enjoyed their natural look so left them as is as an alternative of covering them with cement.

Researchers from the China University of Geosciences confirmed the prints using a 3D ground scanner, which uses radar pulses to image the subsurface.

The footprints belong to two sauropods with the largest measuring 26 feet in length. The dinosaurs walked the Earth 100 million years ago

The footprints belong to 2 sauropods with the biggest measuring 26 feet in length. The dinosaurs walked the Earth 100 million years ago

HOW THE DINOSAURS WENT EXTINCT AROUND 66 MILLION YEARS AGO 

Dinosaurs ruled and dominated Earth around 66 million years ago, before they suddenly went extinct. 

The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event is the name given to this mass extinction.

It was believed for a few years that the changing climate destroyed the food chain of the large reptiles. 

Within the Eighties, paleontologists discovered a layer of iridium.

This is a component that’s rare on Earth but is found  in vast quantities in space.  

When this was dated, it coincided precisely with when the dinosaurs disappeared from the fossil record. 

A decade later, scientists uncovered the huge Chicxulub Crater on the tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which dates to the period in query. 

Scientific consensus now says that these two aspects are linked they usually were each probably brought on by an infinite asteroid crashing to Earth.

With the projected size and impact velocity, the collision would have caused an infinite shock-wave and sure triggered seismic activity. 

The fallout would have created plumes of ash that likely covered all the planet and made it unimaginable for dinosaurs to survive. 

Other animals and plant species had a shorter time-span between generations which allowed them to survive.

There are several other theories as to what caused the demise of the famous animals. 

One early theory was that small mammals ate dinosaur eggs and one other proposes that toxic angiosperms (flowering plants) killed them off.  

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