Got a home or yard renovation project that’s running behind schedule? At least you didn’t discover the fossilized bones of a dinosaur during your construction project! Someone in Portugal did just that in 2017 and their yard is still being excavated. Researchers have already uncovered ribs and vertebrae, likely from a Brachiosaurus or related species of sauropod. And while I’ve never considered what dinosaurs taste like before, the pictures of the discovery make it look like the most enormous slab of delicious ribs I’ve ever seen.
The parts of the dinosaur skeleton found so far are remarkably intact. And, even more rare to find, the bones are in the right position relative to one another. Often, paleontologists find small pieces all jumbled together. The condition of this discovery leads the team to think there’s likely more of the enormous skeleton to be found.
Based on the size of the ribs, the dinosaur was about 40 feet tall and more than 80 feet long. If confirmed, that would make it the largest ever found in Europe. The research team from Portugal and Spain continue to excavate and will run many tests on the fossils. In a press release, they estimate the dinosaur lived in the late Jurassic or early Cretaceous periods, between 100-160 million years ago. We saw the news and unexpectedly mouth-watering photos on Gizmodo.
The pictures of massive ribs remind me of the scene where they butchered a Krayt dragon in The Mandalorian. Just picture Tuskens carving off the meat and searching for a pearl. Or throw it back to The Flintstones credits, which sees Fred’s car toppled by a slab of Brontosaurus ribs. The fossils in Portugal won’t have prehistoric human teeth marks on them, but there’s still a lot to learn from this remarkable find!
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.