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Fossils of the largest European dinosaur

FOSSILISED remains of what scientists believe is the largest land dinosaur ever to have roamed Europe have been found in Portugal.

The dinosaur, a new species named Torvosaurus gurneyi, was up to 10m (33ft) long and weighed between four and five tonnes.

Its head measured 1.15m (3.75ft) from front to back and was filled with blade-shaped teeth up to 10cm (4in) long, suggesting it may have been near the top of the food chain.

Scientists found the bones north of Portugal's capital, Lisbon, and originally thought they belonged to a species from North America, Torvosaurus tanneri.

But comparisons of the shin bone, upper jawbone, teeth, and partial tail vertebrae suggested it was a new species, making it one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs of the Jurassic Period found in this area, living around 150 million years ago.

The findings were published in the online journal Public Library Of Science ONE.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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