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Man Discovers Massive 70-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Fossil in France

Titanosaurs, belonging to the sauropod dinosaur family, lived on Earth from the Late Jurassic Epoch to the end of the Cretaceous Period, approximately 145 million to 66 million years ago. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)


In 2022, Damien Boschetto stumbled upon a remarkable find while walking his dog in the forests of Montouliers, near his home in Cruzy, a village in southern France. What he uncovered was a nearly complete skeleton of a long-necked titanosaur, estimated to be around 70 million years old. Boschetto, now 25 years old, had kept this astonishing discovery a secret until now.


"The territory around Cruzy is rich in fossils of dinosaurs and other species living at the same time," Boschetto explained. "For 28 years, Cruzy has been supplying and building one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils from the Upper Cretaceous period in France."


 
 

Titanosaurs, belonging to the sauropod dinosaur family, lived on Earth from the Late Jurassic Epoch to the end of the Cretaceous Period, approximately 145 million to 66 million years ago.


In 2022, Damien Boschetto stumbled upon a remarkable find while walking his dog in the forests of Montouliers, near his home in Cruzy, a village in southern France. (CREDIT: Damien Boschetto)


These long-necked giants were among the largest terrestrial animals, some reaching sizes comparable to modern whales. Fossils of titanosaurs, encompassing 40 different species, have been unearthed on every continent except Antarctica.


 
 

Boschetto, who has a self-taught passion for paleontology, stumbled upon exposed bone fossils during his routine walk with his dog. This led to the excavation of a 70% complete, 30-foot-long fossilized titanosaur.


Recounting the discovery, Boschetto mentioned, "It happened one morning like any other, during an ordinary walk. While walking the dog, a landslide on the edge of the cliff exposed the bones of various skeletons."


 

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He continued, "They were fallen bones, therefore isolated. We realized after a few days of excavations that they were connected bones."


To protect the paleontological site from potential damage or looting, Boschetto and members of the Archaeological and Paleontological Cultural Association (ACAP) at the Cruzy Museum kept the findings secret during the excavation process.


 
 

"During the extraction, we [were] in sandstone. It is an extremely hard sediment," Boschetto explained, highlighting the challenges they faced.


Boschetto and members of the Archaeological and Paleontological Cultural Association (ACAP) at the Cruzy Museum kept the findings secret during the excavation process. (CREDIT: Damien Boschetto)


Despite the difficulties, Boschetto hopes that the public will now have the opportunity to view the titanosaur skeleton at the Cruzy Museum. "It is a flagship piece for the general public, to be able to admire a dinosaur in anatomical connection like that," he expressed.


 
 

Following his discovery, Boschetto left his job in the energy sector to pursue a master's degree in paleontology, aiming to continue his work in Cruzy.


Damien Boschetto stumbled upon exposed bone fossils during his routine walk with his dog. This led to the excavation of a 70% complete, 30-foot-long fossilized titanosaur. (CREDIT: Damien Boschetto)


Francis Fage, founder of the Cruzy Museum, commended Boschetto's remarkable find, stating, "It is very rare to find this, he had to have the eye. There are some who have passed for 30 years and they have not seen this site."


 
 

Boschetto's discovery of the titanosaur fossil serves as a testament to the rich paleontological history of the Cruzy region and highlights the importance of preserving such sites for scientific study and public education.





For more science stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.


 

Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News under a Creative Commons license. Content may be edited for style and length.


 
 

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