The fossilised skeletons of two long-necked dinosaurs which were up to 30 feet long have been unearthed by workers building a road in China.
The fossils are thought to be the remains of Lufengosaurs magnus and Lufengosaurus huenei – herbivores which roamed the Earth around 180 million years ago.
They were discovered just 1,600 feet (500 metres) apart as workers cleared soil and rocks to make way for a new road in Lufeng County in China’s Yunnan Province.
Construction workers building a road in Lufeng County in China’s Yunnan Province have unearthed two 180 million year old fossil dinosaurs. One has been identified as Lufengosaurus magnus (pictured), a long-necked herbivore that would have been around 30 feet (9m) when it was alive
Palaeontologists say the bones of Lufengosaurus magnus include huge complete hind legs along with much of the back bone and spine.
In total the fossil measures around 16 feet (5m) long but experts believe it may have been more than 30 feet (9m) long when alive.
Sadly it appears the head may have been eroded away by the weather.
The other fossil, of Lufengosaurus huenei, was less well preserved and featured two leg bones along with part of the tail. It is thought to have been smaller than the other creature.
The huge foot of the Lufengosaurus magnus (pictured) was found to be intact along with the hind legs, much of the tail and the back bone. The creatures are thought to have lived during the Early Jurassic period
Lufengosaurus (illustrated) are named after the Lufeng County where the early sauropod dinosaurs were originally discovered in 1938. They are thought to have had sharp claws that they used for raking foliage from trees or for defense against predators
Wang Tao, director of the department for geological heritage protection at the Lufeng Land Resources Bureau, said a museum may now be built over the site to preserve the fossils.
It means the road’s original route may need to be diverted around the site.
Mr Tao told the Chinese news service Xinhua: ‘The part of the fossil that has remained relatively intact is 5.3 metres long. It’s presumed to be nine metres long in complete length.
‘We will continue in situ conservation once we have built a museum at the excavation site.’
Lufengosaurus were an early type of sauropod that are thought to have lived during the Early Jurassic period.
The two fossils were found in Lufeng County in the Yunnan Province of China. They are the latest Lufengosaurus remains to be discovered in the region since the first was found in 1938
Archaeologists studying the two fossils (pictured), which were found around 1,600 feet (500m) apart, have identified them as a Lufengosaurus magnus and its close relative Lufengosaurus huenei
The Lufengosaurus magnus had its hind legs in tact along with its long tail and back bones (pictured). Sadly the head appears to have been eroded by the weather. The second fossil was far less complete
Later sauropods were among some of the largest creatures to every walk the Earth, including Diplodocus.
Lufengosaurus were first discovered in 1938 in the region whose name they bear and since then around 30 major specimens have been discovered.
With a broad snout and mouth willed with closely spaced serrated teeth, it is thought to have lived on a diet of leaves.
It also had sharp claws, particularly on the thumb, which is thought to have been used for defense or for raking foliage from trees.
Leg bones and parts of the tail of a Lufengosauras huenei were also uncovered by the road workers