Most complete 150m year old dinosaur skeleton found near Lisbon

Portuguese palaeontologist Octavio Mateus said on Tuesday the most complete skeleton of a 150 million-year-old dinosaur in the world had been discovered in the south of Lourinha, about 70 km north of Lisbon.

Most complete 150m year old dinosaur skeleton found near Lisbon
An excavation site in the cliffs near Lourinha [Credit: Dinosaurhunter.org]
"It is certainly the most complete dinosaur we have in Portugal and one of the most complete from the Upper Jurassic in the whole world and this means we can study how dinosaurs evolved and how, in this case, they turned into birds” Mateus, a researcher at Lourinha museum and Universidade Nova de Lisboa told Lusa News Agency.

The discovery still has to be confirmed in the laboratory and there are expectations it may be a new species, but the palaeontologist believes it is a coelurosaur, a group of relatively small carnivorous dinosaurs less than two metres long from 150 million years ago, which are rare in Portugal.

In this year’s summer campaign Mateus came across “a dinosaur with an almost compete skeleton from the shoulders to the hips, with well preserved ribs and all the articulated bones and even with the area of the knee and a paw”.

"It is uncommon in the Upper Jurassic in Lourinha, because normally be discover one or two isolated bones and when we discover more material, it is disarticulated ", Mateus explained, adding that anywhere in the world, the coelurosaurs are rare “we knew their teeth and a few isolated bones.

"So this is the first articulated coelurosaur", he said.

Source: The Portugal News [September 04, 2013]

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