These Are the Remains of the Largest Dinosaur Ever Discovered in Europe
What does the largest dinosaur ever discovered in Europe look like? Now we know, thanks to these researchers in Portugal.
Between August 1 and 10, Spanish and Portuguese paleontologists started working on the excavation campaign in Monte Agudo to learn more about the 82-feet-long creature that roamed the continent. Here, they found parts of the fossilized skeleton of a sauropod dinosaur.
“It is not usual to find all the ribs of an animal like this, let alone in this position, maintaining their original anatomical position,” said Elisabete Malafaia, post-doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, in an interview with Phys.org website. "This mode of preservation is relatively uncommon in the fossil record of dinosaurs, in particular sauropods, from the Portuguese Upper Jurassic."
She added: "The research in the Monte Agudo paleontological locality confirms that the region of Pombal has an important fossil record of Late Jurassic vertebrates, which in the last decades has provided the discovery of abundant materials very significant for the knowledge of the continental faunas that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula at about 145 million years ago."
The vertebrae and ribs could possibly come from a brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur, which lived approximately 160 to 100 million years ago. Called brachiosaurid, these herbivorous dinosaurs are some of the most well-known and documented in the world.
The first few pieces of the creature were first unearthed back in 2017 when the property owner in Pombal had a construction project, which would lead to the campaign.
This excavation, meanwhile, was conducted by the Dom Luiz Institute of Câmara Municipal de Pombal, the Evolutionary Biology Group of UNED-Madrid, and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid, together with the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.