Massive 500kg dinosaur bone discovered
Dinosaur hunters have uncovered a two-metre thigh bone likely belonging to a giant sauropod in France.
The enormous femur was dug up in a fossil-rich area in Charente and dates back 140 million years, The Sun reported.
Sauropods are the largest herbivorous dinosaurs known to date - and include Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus.
They first appeared in the late Triassic Period, but this particular dino is from a Jurassic-era sauropod.
It was discovered "nestled" in a thick layer of clay by volunteers from the National Museum of Natural History.
The bone weighs an incredible 500kg - just heavier than an average modern horse.
And it was discovered alongside a giant pelvis bone hidden within the same layer of clay.
Charente is best known for the town of Cognac - home to the brandy - but it's also a hotbed for fossils.
Palaeontologists have already uncovered around 7500 bones from the site since 2010.
It's estimated these bones are linked to as many as 45 different species of dinosaurs.
But the femur is the biggest bone uncovered from the site so far.
"This femur is huge! And in an exceptional state of conservation," said Jean-François Tournepiche, Angouleme Museum curator, speaking to The Local.
"It's very moving," he added.
Experts believe the femur likely belonged to a sauropod, which is one biggest dinosaurs ever to roam earth.
The world-famous class of dinos are identified by their long necks and plant-based diets.
And the bone still provides important details that only a trained eye would spot.
"We can see the insertions of muscles and tendons, scars," explained Ronan Allain, a palaeontologist at Paris' National Museum of Natural History.
"This is a very rare find as large pieces tend to collapse on themselves, to fragment."
Palaeontologists are now working to piece together a complete sauropod skeleton. This will be made from bones unearthed across the site.
The team says the reconstruction is now 50 per cent complete, but progress depends on how quickly the remaining bones can be discovered, identified and added into the skeleton.
This article was originally published on The Sun and was reproduced with permission