A 70-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton was discovered by a man walking his dog

Damien Bocheteau made the discovery in southern France in 2022.

A man who took his dog for a walk in France two years ago made a startling discovery, one he has kept secret until now.

In 2022, Damian Bochetto found a massive 70-million-year-old fossil that turned out to be an almost complete skeleton of a long-necked titanosaur, he told ABC News.

Bocheteau, now 25 years old, said the unexpected discovery was made in the woods of Montolier, near his home in the village of Crozy in southern France.

“The area around Croze is rich in dinosaur fossils and other species that lived at the same time,” Bochetto told ABC News in a translated statement. “For 28 years, Crozi has supplied and built one of the largest collections of dinosaur fossils from the Upper Cretaceous in France.”

Titanosaurs, members of the sauropod dinosaur family, roamed the Earth from the late Jurassic period — 163.5 million to 145 million years ago — until the end of the Cretaceous period, which lasted from 145 million to 66 million years ago, according to Britannica.

Long-necked dinosaurs are the largest known land animals, Britannica reported, adding that some titanosaurs grew to the size of modern whales. Its fossils, which include 40 different species, have been found on all continents except Antarctica, according to Britannica.

Bochetto – who has a “self-made passion” for paleontology – discovered exposed bone fossils, leading to the excavation of a 70% complete fossilized titanosaur, measuring 30 feet long.

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“It happened one morning, like any other morning, during an ordinary walk,” Bochetto told a local website. France Blue In February. “While walking the dog, a landslide on the edge of the cliff exposed various skeletal bones.”

“They were fallen bones, and therefore isolated,” Bochetto said. “We realized after a few days of excavation that they were connected bones.”

Bochetto, along with members of the Archaeological and Paleontological Cultural Association (ACAP) at the Croze Museum, kept the findings confidential in order to protect the excavation site as they excavated the massive skeleton.

“During extraction, we [were] In sandstone. “It's a very solid deposit,” Bochetto said, adding that he and ACAP members are concerned that the site will be “looted and damaged by people who don't know.”

Bochetto hopes people will visit the Croze Museum to see the titanosaur skeleton, now that the fossil has been excavated and preserved for study. “It's a groundbreaking piece for the general public, to be able to admire dinosaurs with such anatomical relevance,” he said.

Since his discovery two years ago, Bochetto said he has quit his job in the energy sector and now hopes to obtain a master's degree in paleontology to continue his work at Crozi.

Francis Vague, founder of the Croze Museum, told France Bleu that Bochetto's extraordinary discovery proves he had an “eye” for dinosaur research.

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“It's very rare to find this, he had to have the eye,” Fagg said of Damien. “There are some who have not seen this site for 30 years.”

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