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BRACHIOSAURUS

Brachiosaurus

Build & Characteristics

  • Brachiosaurus means “Arm Lizard” in Greek, because its forelimbs were longer than their hind legs.
  • Brachiosaurus measured up to 85 feet (26 Meters) long and 50 feet (15 meters) tall and could weigh up to 16,000 pounds (88 tons). That’s as much as four elephants and as tall as a five story building!
  • Like the Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus’ nostrils were on top of its head and also was a quadrupedal herbivore. They had longer front legs, making some scientist believe Brachiosaurus was able to raise up on its hind legs, much like a grizzly bear, to better reach the high leaves without straining its neck.
  • In order to pump enough blood to the animal’s brain up through that long neck, its heart was very large, similar to a modern day giraffe.
  • Brachiosaurus had a very long lifespan, possibly over 100 years! It is a general rule among animals that the bigger and slower an animal is the longer its lifespan.

History

  • Brachiosaurus roamed the earth during the Jurassic Period (156-145 million years ago) In North America, Europe and even Africa.
  • The Brachiosaurus large size would have helped them to gather warmth during the day to stay warm at night.
  • Brachiosaurus young would have been very vulnerable to predators until they reached their full size, when they would become immune to danger from predators.

Discovery

  • The first Brachiosaurus specimen was in 1900 in Colorado by a team from Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. This specimen was almost complete minus the skull.
  • You can see a Brachiosaurus skeleton at the American Natural History Museum in New York City.