NEW DISCOVERY: Giant dinosaur bone unearthed

Scientists are hailing the discovery of the thigh bone of a giant dinosaur, unearthed this week in France, as a "major discovery".

The two-metre long femur was found by French palaeontologists at an excavation site in the south west of the country where remains of some of the largest animals that ever lived on land have been dug up in recent years.

The bone was found in a thick layer of clay earlier this week.

The bone at the Angeac-Charente site is thought to have belonged to a sauropod, a plant-eating dinosaur with a long neck and tail, which was widespread in the late Jurassic era - more than 140 million years ago.

A large pelvic bone was also found nearby.

"This is a major discovery," Ronan Allain, a palaeontologist at the National Natural History Museum of Paris, told Reuters news agency, "I was amazed by the state of preservation of that femur.

"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 a big pieces which tend to collapse in on themselves and fragment."

Scientists at the site near the city of Cognac have found more than 7,500 fossils of more than 40 different species since 2010, according to Allain, making it one of the largest such finds in Europe. 

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
46% - 5965 votes
It's four more years for Trump
54% - 7030 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.33
(+0.68)
ZAR/GBP
21.36
(-0.24)
ZAR/EUR
19.37
(+0.49)
ZAR/AUD
11.60
(+0.00)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.00)
Gold
1923.60
(+0.71)
Silver
25.11
(+1.53)
Platinum
888.00
(+2.00)
Brent Crude
43.05
(+1.28)
Palladium
2402.00
(+0.52)
All Share
55316.17
(+0.08)
Top 40
50881.59
(+0.06)
Financial 15
10053.36
(+0.97)
Industrial 25
75023.23
(-0.72)
Resource 10
54155.32
(+0.68)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo