Although it has already been 140 million years old, the find made by scientists at Angeac-Charente near Bordeaux is surprisingly well preserved. The huge thigh bone of a sauropod measures an enormous two meters and weighs 400 kilograms.
The excavation site in the wine-growing region now has a reputation as a palaeontological treasure trove. Thousands of dinosaur bones have been excavated there for ten years.
Bones in the state of “perfect petrifaction”
“We were amazed at the size,” said researcher Maxime Lasseron, who made the discovery. “We kept saying: “Oh, there’s more.” According to the scientist Ronan Allain from the Natural History Museum in Paris, the bone is “unique because of its condition and perfect fossilization”. The researchers now hope to use tests to find out whether it belongs to the same dinosaur species as a thigh bone found in 2010.
Sauropods were the largest living creatures ever to populate the earth. The herbivores reached a length of up to 18 meters when fully grown. Millions of years ago, the present cognac region of Angeac-Charente was home to numerous animal species due to its humid, subtropical climate. “It was full of life,” Allain said.
The excavation site extends over 750 square meters, in view of the prospect of further finds, the owners have given the go-ahead for the search on another 4000 square meters. “At this rate we will be busy for the next 30 years,” said excavation director Jean-Francois Tournepiche.