Interesting Facts About the Brontosaurus

The Brontosaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs ever to roam the earth, lived for approximately 100 years. This dinosaur, found in North America, has been a mysterious species throughout history, with its name and appearance being disputed.

The Brontosaurus had a beefy body, a long neck, and a tiny head, with a long tail. Here are nine interesting facts about this dinosaur that you should know.

Discovery of the Brontosaurus

The Brontosaurus was first discovered in 1879 by Professor Othniel Charles Marsh, a paleontologist at Yale University. Marsh found an almost complete skeleton of a sauropod at the Morrison Formation Rocks in Wyoming. Marsh identified it as a new species, which he named Brontosaurus excelsus.

However, in 1903, a publication in the Geological Series of the Field Columbian Museum argued that the Brontosaurus was not a new species, but part of the Apatosaurus family.

No Brontosaurus Skull has been Found

Scientists have yet to discover a Brontosaurus skull. The American Museum of Natural History put the first-ever Brontosaurus on display in 1905. The body consisted of bones found by Marsh, and it was constructed as expected. However, as they had not found a full skull, Adam Hermann, the construction manager, had to sculpt a hypothetical skull based on predictions and the resemblance of the Morosaurus.

It is predicted that the Brontosaurus skull would have been similar to the Apatosaurus. A new skull was not sculpted until many years later.

The Brontosaurus is Not an Apatosaurus

Initially, the Brontosaurus was thought to be part of the Apatosaurus family. The two species were very similar, but an easy way to distinguish the two was through their necks. The Brontosaurus had a higher and less wide neck compared to the Apatosaurus. In 2015, scientists discovered that the Brontosaurus was its own family of species.

The “bone wars” were taking place at the time of Marsh’s discovery, and many dinosaur publications were rushed. This is often considered the reason why the Brontosaurus was mistaken as an Apatosaurus. The two species are closely related and share many features.

The Brontosaurus, also known as the “thunder lizard,” was named by Marsh after he discovered a larger Apatosaurus. The name comes from the Greek words “bronte” and “Saurus,” meaning thunder and lizard, respectively. They were one of the largest dinosaurs to have existed, weighing between 17-24 US tons and standing at around 15 feet tall and 70-90 feet in length. Due to their weight and build, they could only reach speeds of around 12 mph.

Brontosauruses were herbivores and part of the Diplodocidae family. They had short blunt teeth, which allowed them to pluck leaves and small branches from plants and grind them before swallowing them whole for digestion. They had a long neck and small head, which allowed them to reach great heights for grazing leaves on trees and reaching the ground for flora to graze on.

The lifespan of a Brontosaurus was similar to that of a giant tortoise and could live up to 100 years. It took ten years for them to reach adulthood and its full size. Although they were one of the tallest of all dinosaurs, they had the smallest brain. This was due to the heart being under a lot of pressure to pump blood to the brain, and having a smaller brain required less blood and less work on the body. It was once thought that they had two brains, with the second brain controlling their reflexes in the back portion of their body.

After further research and the discovery of more dinosaurs, paleontologists now believe that the suspected second brain was actually just an enlargement in the spinal cord.

Nostrils on the Head

While a genuine Brontosaurus skull has yet to be found, scientists can make predictions based on closely related dinosaurs. The Apatosaurus, for example, had nostrils on its head, making it a unique find. It is assumed that the Brontosaurus would have had a similar appearance.

The reason for the species’ nostrils on its head is unknown, but it is believed to be related to their eating habits. Scientists have hypothesized that the adaptation allowed them to reach food sources in places such as wetlands, where they couldn’t walk directly because of their weight and the risk of sinking. With their long necks and nostrils on their heads, they could search the watery areas for food without drowning.

The Brontosaurus is one of the largest dinosaurs to have ever existed and remains one of the world’s most famous. As scientists continue to research this disputed species, we learn more about what it looked like and how it lived. With the discovery of a skull, we may finally unlock the secrets of this mysterious creature.


1. What is the Brontosaurus?

The Brontosaurus, also known as Apatosaurus, is a genus of herbivorous dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period, about 150 million years ago. It is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs because of its long neck and tail, and massive body.

2. How big was the Brontosaurus?

The Brontosaurus was one of the largest dinosaurs that ever lived, measuring up to 75 feet in length and weighing up to 38 tons. Its neck alone could reach up to 30 feet long.

3. What did the Brontosaurus eat?

The Brontosaurus was a herbivore, which means it only ate plants. Its diet consisted of ferns, cycads, and other vegetation that grew on the forest floor during the Late Jurassic period.

4. Where did the Brontosaurus live?

The Brontosaurus lived in what is now North America, in regions that were covered by dense forests during the Late Jurassic period. Fossils have been found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

5. When was the Brontosaurus discovered?

The Brontosaurus was first discovered in 1877 by a paleontologist named Othniel Charles Marsh. It was later found that the Brontosaurus was actually a species of Apatosaurus, but the name Brontosaurus stuck and is still commonly used today.

6. How did the Brontosaurus move?

The Brontosaurus walked on all fours and moved slowly, using its long tail for balance. It was not capable of running or moving quickly.

7. Did the Brontosaurus have any predators?

The Brontosaurus did not have many predators because of its massive size, but it may have been hunted by large carnivorous dinosaurs like Allosaurus.

8. Are there any living relatives of the Brontosaurus?

No, there are no living relatives of the Brontosaurus. It is an extinct species of dinosaur that lived millions of years ago.

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