6-Foot-Long Dinosaur Thigh Bone Discovered in South of France

The femur belonged to a sauropod, believed to have weighed between 40 and 50 tons.

A 6-foot-long thigh bone, believed to be from the one of the biggest dinosaurs to have ever roamed the Earth, was discovered in the south of France.

"I was especially amazed by the state of preservation of that femur," Ronan Allain, a paleontologist at the National History Museum of Paris, told Reuters.

Allain told Le Parisien this discovery was especially spectacular because it showed the outlines of muscles, tendons and scars — rare for big pieces that tend to collapse and fragment.

Researchers at the Agneac-Charente site believe the femur belonged to a sauropod, a dinosaur that was widespread during the late Jurassic period, around 140 million years ago.

Sauropods were herbivores with long necks and long tails, believed to have weighed between 40 and 50 tons. In comparison, a ton, or 2,000 pounds, is approximately the weight of a small car.

The Agneac-Charente site, located near the city of Cognac, is one of the largest in terms of archaeological finds. Researchers have dug up more than 7,500 fossils from more than 40 different species since 2010.