September 25, 2010

Dinosaur Thigh Bone Is Longest In Europe

Paleontologists in Spain said Friday they have discovered the longest dinosaur thigh bone ever found in Europe, measuring almost 6.5 feet in length.

The dinosaur research institute Dinopolis Foundation said the thigh fossil was found earlier this year at a Riodeva dig site near Teruel in eastern Spain. Scientists have also unearthed a 4.1-foot tibia and 15 vertebrae at the site.

The fossil is believed to belong to the Turiasaurus Riodevensis -- a dinosaur weighing more than 40 tons and measuring 98 feet long. This species was first discovered in 2004 at the same site, the foundation said in a statement.

The fossils unearthed recently, along with the 2004 finds, should allow the institute to build a skeleton of the animal, which lived 145 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous Period, said Dinopolis.

Paleontologists also discovered a new type of dinosaur in the same region just two weeks ago. They believe the new dinosaur had a hump and is the ancestor of flesh-eating leviathans which once ruled the planet.

The fossil was unearthed in the Las Hoyas formation in central Spain's Cuenca province. The Las Hoyas formation has been a hotbed for dinosaur finds that date to the Early Cretaceous Era between 150 and 120 million years ago.


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