Italy’s dinosaur trove! Near Trieste, remains of as many as 11 dinosaurs have been discovered. They date back to 80 million years. This includes the largest and longest known complete dinosaur ever found.

  • It has been revealed that the largest and most complete Italian dinosaur was discovered.
  • Near Trieste, fossilised bones from the species Tethyshadros Insularis were found.
  • Researchers at University of Bologna said the dinosaur lived 80 million years ago
  • First skeleton found was identified as ‘dwarf’ species but new study disputes this

The biggest and most complete dinosaur ever found in Italy is among the remains of up to 11 such creatures uncovered by paleontologists.

A site known as Villaggio del Pescatore was discovered near Trieste and contained fossilized skeletons of the Tethyshadros species.

Researchers said the dinosaur lived on an island of the European archipelago in the Tethys Ocean 80 million years ago.

Fossilised skeletons belonging to the species Tethyshadros insularis (pictured in an artist's impression) were discovered at a site called Villaggio del Pescatore near Trieste

Found at Villaggio del Pescatore, near Trieste were fossilised skeletons that belonged to Tethyshadros Insularis.

The skeleton of Bruno, an adult Tethyshadros insularis described in this new study

In this study, the new study reveals that Bruno is an adult Tethyshadros.

Tethyshadros insularis 

Diet: Herbivore

Size: 13ft (4 metres) long

Locations known: Italy‭ 

Time periodLate Campanian from the Cretaceous 

It had been believed that the first Tethyshadros insularis skeleton found at the site was a ‘dwarf species’, but the latest study by the University of Bologna disputes this.

After discovering another skeleton named Bruno that was larger and could still be growing, the experts concluded that ‘Antonio,’ as the original skeleton was called, was in fact a young dinosaur.

Geologists had previously said the Villaggio del Pescatore site, dubbed a ‘dinosaur trove’, was part of an island in the middle of a ‘proto-Mediterranean’ ocean called Tethys.

This led to experts incorrectly identifying Antonio as a ‘dwarf’ species because they thought it was an example of the so-called ‘island rule’ — the evolutionary miniaturisation of bigger animals in an insular environment due to the scarcity of resources.

Skeletal reconstructions of the two Tethyshadros insularis dinosaurs, with the younger specimen nicknamed 'Antonio' above and the older, newly-described skeleton of 'Bruno' below

Skeletal reconstructions for the Tethyshadros Insularis dinosaurs. Below, the younger specimen is called “Antonio” and below, the older, newer skeleton of “Bruno”.

The bones of 'Antonio' under the microscope, showing the bone cells (black, circled dots). The fossilised bone tissues were analysed to calculate the age of the dinosaurs at the time of death

Under the microscope the bones of Antonio, showing bone cells (black circles dots). To calculate the death date of dinosaurs, the fossilised bones tissues were examined.

The study found there were at least seven and probably 11 dinosaurs at Villaggio del Pescatore

According to the study, there was at most seven or more dinosaurs in Villaggio del Pescatore

The study found there were at least seven and probably 11 dinosaur skeletons at Villaggio del Pescatore, as well as the remains of fish, crocodiles, flying reptiles and even small crustaceans. 

It also suggests that the site is about 10 million years older than previously thought, dating back around 80 million years to the Cretaceous period.

The land that is now northern-eastern Italy was once a large oceanic area but it was connected to Asia and western Europe at the time. 

It means that small islands were not the only thing to make up the ancient Mediterranean. However, large-sized terrestrial animals such as the dinosaurs could have migrated across the land bridges between what is now Italy and Italy.

The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The skull of 'Bruno', the newly described skeleton of the dinosaur Tethyshadros insularis

The Skull of “Bruno”, the recently described skeleton from the dinosaur Tethyshadros Insularis, is the skull

The paleontological site of Villaggio del Pescatore, with experts working to extract the fossils from the 'dinosaur trove'

Villaggio del Pescatore is a paleontological site, where experts are working to recover fossils from the “dinosaur treasure trove”.


Nearly 66,000,000 years ago, non-avian dinosaurs were extincted and nearly half the species of the planet were extinct.

The mass extinction of mammalian species opened the door to the rise and development of humankind.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

It crashed into what was now the Gulf of Mexico.

It created a massive dust cloud and soot cloud, which triggered climate change. This resulted in the extinction of 75% all species.

According to researchers, the only way that soot could have caused such a catastrophe was through direct impacts on Mexico’s shallow-water rocks rich in hydrocarbons.

Experts think that within 10 hours after the shock, the Gulf coast was hit by a huge tsunami.

Around 66 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Non-avian dinosaurs died out around 66 million years ago, and nearly half of the species on Earth were extinct. A potential reason for the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction is the Chicxulub asteroids (stock photo).

It caused earthquakes or landslides even in Argentina. 

Researchers discovered small pieces of rock and other debris from the crash site.

These tiny particles are called spherules and covered the entire planet in a thick layer soot.

Experts believe that the loss of sunlight caused the complete collapse of the aquatic system.

Because the phytoplankton basis of nearly all aquatic food chains was eliminated, this is why.

The more than 180,000,000 years of evolution which brought us to the Cretaceous point were believed to have been destroyed within 20-30 years.