Friday, July 26th 2019, 5:23 pm - The thigh bone belonged to a sauropod, the largest class of dinosaurs.
Archaeologists in southwestern France have unearthed a massive dinosaur bone measuring some two metres in length -- longer than most human beings are tall.
The bone -- a fossilized femur -- was discovered at Angeac-Charente, near the city of Cognac, earlier in July, and is estimated to weigh as much as half a tonne.
"This is a major discovery,” Ronan Allain, a paleontologist from France's National History Museum in Paris, told Reuters. “I was especially amazed by the state of preservation of that femur.”
The femur belonged to a sauropod, a large, long-necked and long-tailed bipedal herbivore. Sauropods were the largest class of dinosaurs, including species such as Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus. The femur's owner likely lived 140 million years ago during the Jurassic period.
A man inspects the femur of a Sauropod after it was discovered earlier in the week during excavations at the palaeontological site of Angeac-Charente, France, July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
The Angeac-Charente site was only discovered in 2010. That year, another femur, this one 2.2 metres in length, was discovered, according to Le Parisien. Since then, the site has yielded a huge amount of fossils, with some 7,500 bones belonging to around 45 species identified so far.
Canada is no slouch in the fossil department. Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park has yielded numerous fossils dating back some 75 million years. At least 150 complete skeletons have been unearthed there, representing more than 40 different species. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.