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28.07.2019 Europe

Discovery of dinosaur thigh bone in France thrills scientists

France24 screengrab
JUL 28, 2019 EUROPE

French paleontologists are excited about the discovery of a thigh bone belonging to a giant dinosaur, dating from the late Jurassic era, at an excavation site in southwestern France this week.

The two-meter long femur is thought to have belonged to a sauropod, a herbivorous dinosaur with a long neck and tail which existed more than 140 million years ago.

The bone was found in a thick layer of clay at the Angeac-Charente site in southwestern France earlier this week.

"This is a major discovery," Ronan Allain, a palaeontologist at the National Natural History Museum of Paris, told Reuters News Agency.

"These are animals that probably weighed 40 to 50 tonnes."

Allain told France's Le Parisien newspaper that, as well as the bone's size, its state of preservation was also impressive.

"We can see the insertions of muscles and tendons and scars. This is rare for big pieces which tend to collapse in on themselves and fragment."