Giant ‘unusual’ 82ft-long dinosaur skeleton discovered in man’s backyard in Portugal

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 (Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal)
(Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal)

A giant 82ft-long dinosaur skeleton has been discovered in a man’s backyard in Portugal.

Palaeontologists from Spain and Portugal began working on the site in Pombal, central Portugal, in 2017 after the man noticed fragments during construction work.

Researchers now believe the skeleton to be of a sauropod which were large four-legged dinosaurs.

Sauropods were herbivores which lived from the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous period, around 160 to 100 millions years ago.

The skeleton is measured at 39ft high and was termed as “unusual” by Elisabete Malafaia, postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon due to the position of the remains.

She 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.”

The discovery comes after dinosaur tracks dating back to 113 million years ago were exposed in Texas on Monday due to low water levels.