Plant-eating bug found in Portugal


It walked on four legs, was 25 meters long and 12 meters high. Now paleontologists in Portugal are excavating what is believed to be the largest fossil find in Europe.

The giant skeleton was only discovered in 2017 when the owner of a property in Pombal found pieces of bone in connection with construction work and contacted the researchers.

In August this year, Portuguese and Spanish paleontologists worked to uncover the skeleton, which is estimated to have been in the ground for 150 million years.

– It is unusual to find all the ribs from an animal like this, not least in this position, where the original anatomical position is maintained, says Elisabete Malafaia, researcher at the University of Lisbon, to phys.org.

Ribs and vertebrae show a sauropod that was around 25 meters long and 12 meters high.

From the late Jurassic period

The sauropods were herbivorous dinosaurs that walked on four legs and had a long neck and tail. Among them are the largest animals that ever walked the surface of the planet.

The position of the fossil means that paleontologists have good hope of being able to find more skeletal parts from the same dinosaur in the area

– The excavations in confirm that the Pombal region has important vertebrate fossils from the late Jurassic period, which in recent decades have provided us with very important material for the knowledge of the fauna of the Iberian Peninsula 145 million years ago, says Elisabete Malafaia.

Facts: Sauropods

The sauropods are a branch within the order Saurischia, lizard-hipped dinosaurs. They had very long necks, long tails, small heads, and four pillar-like legs. They lived on plants and were distinguished by enormous body size. This includes the largest land animals that have ever existed on earth.

The sauropods appeared relatively early in the history of the dinosaurs, already at the end of the Triassic 210 million years ago. They were most numerous at the end of the Jurassic period 150 million years ago, but survived until they died out along with the other dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Known genera include Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus.


Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.

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