May 20, 2024

Bone Ranger

Damien Boschetto, a 25-year-old amateur paleontologist, made a spectacular discovery while walking his dog in a forest in southern France last year.

Boschetto stumbled upon a massive bone sticking out of the ground near a cliff edge, CNN reports, which turned out to be the 32.8-foot fossil of a Titanosaur skeleton, a long-necked sauropod that was still thriving around the end of the Cretaceous period around 66 million years ago.

“It happened one morning like any other, during an ordinary walk,” Boschetto told local news France Bleu last month. “While walking the dog, a landslide on the edge of the cliff exposed the bones of various skeletons.”

The stunning finding astonished researchers, particularly thanks to its almost original anatomical position.

“From a museography point of view, it will make it possible to present to the general public animals almost complete in anatomical positions, which is something great,” Boschetto told CNN.

Connective Tissue

The local Archaeological and Paleontological Cultural Association, in particular, was thrilled by Boschetto’s find.

“The most exciting thing was to realize that we had at least one anatomically connected animal and that it was a titanosaur, a long-necked dinosaur,” member Jean-Marc Veyssières told CNN.

The surrounding area where Boschetto made the discovery is what experts refer to as a “bone bed,” or a spot that’s teeming with animal bones and fossils.

Experts also dug up the remains of a Rhabdodon, a plant-eating dinosaur, and carnivores like Theropods, in the same area.

Sauropods like the 70 percent-intact Titanosaur discovered by Boschetto, were some of the largest dinosaurs of their time towards the end of the Cretaceous period. Their total length head to tail could reach 85 feet.

While other Titanosaur remains have been found in other parts of Europe, this particular specimen is special thanks to its largely intact state, including some connecting tissues.

Experts are still trying to determine its exact species.

Boschetto has since decided to quit his job to pursue a master’s degree in paleontology — and who can blame him?

More on dinosaurs: Researcher Buys Dinosaur Fossil Online, Discovers Terrifying Monster

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