Brontosaurus, one of the world’s most beloved dinosaurs, is one example of how science evolves and changes as we learn new things.
- The Brontosaurus was first discovered in the western United States in the 1800s, along with an Apatosaurus.
- At the time, the two animals were thought to be different animals and were given different names.
- As scientists then looked at the fossils, they decided the two were actually members of the same genus, Scientists ditched the name Brontosaurus. The public must have really liked it though because Brontosaurus never went away. For a hundred years, people have called this large, lumbering dinosaur Brontosaurus.
- Recently, paleontologists did an in-depth study of the two fossils and realized that they actually are different enough to be two different genuses. So guess what? Brontosaurus is back.
- This dinosaur lived during the Late Jurassic, 152 million years ago.
- It was a huge sauropod, growing 70 feet long or more. It had peg-shaped teeth in the front of its mouth for stripping leaves from trees. It didn’t have any teeth in the back of its mouth and ate its food whole.
- Brontosaurus’s hind legs were shorter than its front legs. It probably stood on its back legs to knock trees over.
- Paleontologists have realized that there were many huge sauropods living during the same time period, in the same place. They’re not sure if these animals migrated from place to place looking for food.
Questions and Answers
Question: Why did people insist on keeping the name Brontosaurus?
Answer: No one knows for sure why it became so popular, but the name means “Thunder Lizard,” which is pretty cool. Imagine how it must have sounded when it walked!
Read more about Brontosaurus’ comeback.