Unexpected locations sometimes yield surprising discoveries in the form of dinosaur fossils. For a Portuguese resident, this paleontological marvel emerged right in his own backyard. Unearthed in 2017, the accidental finding of a sauropod dinosaur fossil could potentially rank as the largest ever uncovered in Europe.
During yard construction in Pombal, Portugal, the homeowner noticed fossilized bone fragments, prompting the summoning of researchers to assess the site. Over the subsequent years, excavations have revealed a truly extraordinary sight. As of August 2022, the creature’s vertebrae and ribs, measuring an impressive 10 feet in length, have been brought to light. This expansive thoracic cavity once belonged to a sauropod—a class of dinosaurs characterized by their herbivorous diet, extended necks, and lengthy tails.
Believed to potentially belong to the Brachiosauridae family, this dinosaur stood at an estimated height of around 39 feet, with an astonishing length of 82 feet. It roamed the Earth between 160 to 100 million years ago, spanning from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous period.
Continued excavations are anticipated to yield more components of the skeleton. The presently uncovered bones will undergo a cleaning process to remove sediment, followed by extensive research and eventual display in a museum.