The size and condition of the bone have impressed paleontologists [Georges Gobet/AFP]

Scientists are hailing the discovery of the thigh bone of a giant dinosaur, unearthed this week in France, as a “major discovery”.

The two-metre-long femur was found by French palaeontologists at an excavation site in the southwest of the country where remains of some of the largest animals that ever lived on land have been dug up in recent years.

The bone was found in a thick layer of clay earlier this week.

The bone at the Angeac-Charente site is thought to have belonged to a sauropod, a plant-eating dinosaur with a long neck and tail, which was widespread in the late Jurassic era – more than 140 million years ago.

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