Brontosaurus Facts: Kids, Parents and Teachers Will be Fond

a Brontosaurus on the mountain

Source by: Natural History Museum

The Brontosaurus is one of the world’s most beloved dinosaurs. And it’s easy to understand why.

The Brontosaurus’s long neck, large body, and small head capture the imagination easily. That’s why it’s appeared so many times in pop culture’s movies and TV series. And they’re even on business logos. The classic movie “Gertie The Dinosaur” and the iconic Sinclair Oil Corporation logo are good examples.

The scientific details behind this famous dinosaur make it all the more fascinating. Did you know that the sound of a Brontosaurus’ tail can go as loud as 200 decibels when it whips? That’s as loud as a cannon!

Brontosaurus fans are in the right place with this post. We got you with Brontosaurus facts from history and head to toe any fan should know. Let’s learn more!

Brontosaurus is standing in front of the office building

Source by: ABC13

Before you dive into the main article, enjoy 6 interesting facts about Brontosaurus we picked for you first: 

  1. Brontosaurus’s living period is the Late Jurassic epoch.
  2. This long neck dinosaur name pronunciation is ‘bron-tuh-sawr-uhs’. It’s name meaning in Greek is “thunder lizard”
  3. Brontosaurus roamed the North United States.
  4. An adult Brontosaurus may have a length of 72 feet (22 meters), a height of 80.3 feet (24.5meters)
  5. It has a weight of around 17 tons (15,422 kg)
  6. Brontosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur that liked to eat Horsetails.

What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Brontosaurus?

Brontosaurus fossil on white background

Source by: MCDinosaurhunter

In this section, we talk about the events that happened behind the scenes when it was discovered. Knowing its context will help us appreciate the dinosaur even more.

Here are interesting dinosaur facts about the Brontosaurus’ history of discovery and the first fossils displayed in museums.

The Brontosaurus Discovery

The world’s beloved dinosaur was first unearthed from the rocks of Wyoming’s Morrison Formation in 1879. The new species was discovered by the team of paleontologists led by Othniel Charles Marsh, a professor of paleontology from Yale University.

His discovery was named Brontosaurus excelsus, meaning thunder lizard. Here’s a deeper dive behind the name Brontosaurus as chosen by Othniel Charles Marsh:

  • Bronte – thunder (Greek)
  • sauros – lizard (Greek)
  • excelsus – high or noble (Latin)

Marsh’s discovery of the fossils was truly a noble find! Did you know there are more of its own species? The other Brontosaurus species are:

  • Brontosaurus yahnahpin
  • Brontosaurus parvus
3D art of a green Brontosaurus on a white background

Source by: Lewisroland

The First Brontosaurus Skeleton Mounts: American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

The Brontosaurus was unveiled by the American Museum of Natural History to the public for the first time in 1905. It was nearly complete with only a few bones missing like the feet, parts of the lower legs, and head.

This situation called for Adam Hermann, who was watching over its construction, to go the extra mile. He had to handcraft a skull himself as he wasn’t able to find a Brontosaurus skull to immediately display. Hermann based the skull on another sauropod called the Camarasaurus.

The First Brontosaurus Skeleton Mounts: Yale Peabody Museum

Another standout Brontosaurus fossil was put on display in 1931 by the Yale Peabody Museum. Other museums were often crafting skulls based completely on the Camarasaurus but Yale went a different route.  It used only the lower jaw and created a skull that looked like Marsh’s drawings made in 1891. Additionally, it also had nasals that pointed forward.

How Many Bones Does a Brontosaurus Have?

Brontosaurus fossil on display at night time in a museum

Source by: Rob DiCaterino

There aren’t exact answers as to how many bones a Brontosaurus has. But for sure, it’s a lot! A good guess would be the average number of bones in a dinosaur which is 200. So the Brontosaurus may have a little more than that considering it belongs to a family comprising of many of the largest dinosaurs to have been discovered.

Fun Facts About the Giant Dinosaur & Its Bones

  • The species had long necks with deeply cleaved bones
  • They had a long tail and a spine with around 112 bones
  • They had 10 long ribs on both sides of their bodies
  • The bones on their four legs were stout
  • Its forelimbs had one big claw each
  • Its feet had claws on the first three toes
  • No Brontosaurus skull has been found to date. What scientists suggest is they had small heads like the Apatosaurus.

Are Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus the Same Dinosaur?

A grey Brontosaurus is standing on a land

Source by: The Atlantic

The Brontosaurus was synonymous to the Apatosaurus for many years. Prominent 20th century paleontologist Elmer Riggs said that these two genera can be thought of as synonymous, doubting the Brontosaurus as a valid genus.

He shared this statement in 1903 at the Geological Series of the Field Columbian Museum. And it’s been the most widely accepted school of thought about the Brontosaurus ever since.

A Brontosaurus Revival

But a study made in 2015 by scientists Emanuel Tschopp, Roger Benson, and Octavio Mateus challenged this notion. Their findings might just finally make the Brontosaurus excelsus as its own genus, completely distinct from the closely related Apatosaurus ajax.

Where Did Brontosaurus Live?

A Brontosaurus is walking on the ground

Source by: 1Z00M

The Brontosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic period 156-146 million years ago in what is now Wyoming’s Morrison Formation. The giant dinosaur lived mostly in dry land not in water as formerly thought.

Other sauropods coexisted with them too like the Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus, and Camarasaurus. Carnivores like Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus that existed during the Jurassic Period lived there as well.

What Does a Brontosaurus Eat?

A Brontosaurus is eating leaves in a forest

Source by: The Fact Site

The Brontosaurus was a herbivore. This species fed Jurassic plants for food like horsetails, cycads, and ferns.

Paleontologists say that the Brontosaurus used the claws on their forelimbs to grip tree trunks. This helped them reach the leafy food in the branches above.

A Brontosaurus Pro Tip

A great way to help kids learn more about this herbivore is through brightly-colored visual aids. Lively dinosaur puppets that look just like the real Brontosaurus are good examples!

Do Brontosaurus Have Teeth?

A skull of a Brontosaurus in the museum

Source by: Science Buzz

Yes, they do! They had teeth that were spatula-like in shape which got replaced every few weeks.  According to the Natural History Museum, their teeth were simple and were perfect for long neck dinosaurs that existed 150 million years ago. The unique teeth replacement helped them stay laser-focused on eating plants other dinosaurs overlooked.

How Fast Can a Brontosaurus Run?

a Brontosaurus skeleton with buildings in the background

Source by: Roland Arhelger

Scientists discovered trackways of this sauropod and suggest that the Brontosaurus can only run as fast as 20 to 30 km/h. With this speed, they averaged distances as far as 20 to 40 kilometers a day.

The Remarkable Thunder Lizard Behind the Brontosaurus Facts

3D art of a blue-gray Brontosaurus head

Source by: Noiel

The Brontosaurus really is a remarkable dinosaur with all the things going for it just like these realistic dinosaur costumes. With its long tail, large neck, towering height, and love for Jurassic plants, its name which means thunder lizard is well deserved.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know more about these famous dinosaurs a little better! And if you’re one of its long-time fans, we hope you discovered something new about your favorite dinosaur.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Chloe Wang

      Haha

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