In 2017, a Portuguese man in the city of Pombal discovered fossil fragments in his backyard while working on a construction project. Since then, after calling a research team, excavators have unearthed what looks to be the largest sauropod dinosaur skeleton ever found in Europe, measuring 39' tall and 82' long, according to a release published yesterday by Lisbon's Eurekalert.
Earlier this month, paleontologists from Spain and Portugal worked at the site for over a week and they believe they have unearthed remains of the largest sauropod dinosaur to ever be found on the continent, according to the release. Sauropods are plant-eating, four-legged dinosaurs with long necks and tails. …
"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," Elisabete Malafaia, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lisbon, said in a statement.
The most important elements of the skeleton have been collected from the site, which includes the vertebrae and ribs of a possible brachiosaurid sauropod, or brachiosaurus, the news release said. The dinosaur species roamed the Earth 160 to 100 million years ago.