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Brontosaurus reinstated as a unique genus


Posted on Tuesday, 7 April, 2015 | Comment icon 17 comments

A late 19th century depiction of the Brontosaurus. Image Credit: Charles R Knight
Having been relegated to a subgenus of Apatosaurus, the iconic Brontosaurus is now making a comeback.
A member of the huge Sauropod family of dinosaurs, Brontosaurus became a household name after its discovery in the 1870s.

Its identity as a unique genus however was to be short lived as by 1903 palaeontologists had determined that it was too similar to the Apatosaurus and it was subsequently reclassified.

Now more than 100 years later a new study has revealed that the iconic dinosaur may have belonged to a unique genus after all.

"The differences we found between Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus were at least as numerous as the ones between other closely related genera, and much more than what you normally find between species," said study co-author Dr Roger Benson from the University of Oxford.

Like Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus was a massive four-legged plant eater that weighed 22 tons and grew to a length of up to 72ft from head to tail - an absolute behemoth of its time.

Its full name, Brontosaurus excelsus, means "noble thunder lizard".

"Itís the classic example of how science works," said Professor OctŠvio Mateus.

"Especially when hypotheses are based on fragmentary fossils, it is possible for new finds to overthrow years of research."

Source: Telegraph | Comments (17)

Tags: Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus, Dinosaur

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Taun on 7 April, 2015, 20:27
LOL what year is that? :yes: :yes: :su :su 1960... I was 7 and this song was a GREAT song for a 7 year old!... (Not so much for his - much put on - mother, who had to hear it 5,000 times a day)...
Comment icon #9 Posted by Taun on 7 April, 2015, 20:30
I grew up learning that they were killed off 65 million years ago. Didn't you know that Brontos were the reason the Souix were able to defeat Gen Custer?... They rode them into battle and scared the bejeebus out of the cavalry troopers... After that battle there was a concerted effort by the Gubment to wipe out the Dinos (Bronto's in particular) to make sure they couldn't be ridden into battle again... Them dying out 65 million years ago is 'revisionist history"...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 7 April, 2015, 20:33
Didn't you know that Brontos were the reason the Souix were able to defeat Gen Custer?... They rode them into battle and scared the bejeebus out of the cavalry troopers... After that battle there was a concerted effort by the Gubment to wipe out the Dinos (Bronto's in particular) to make sure they couldn't be ridden into battle again... Them dying out 65 million years ago is 'revisionist history"... I didn't know that. Thank you for opening my eyes !
Comment icon #11 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 7 April, 2015, 20:36
Didn't you know that Brontos were the reason the Souix were able to defeat Gen Custer?... They rode them into battle and scared the bejeebus out of the cavalry troopers... After that battle there was a concerted effort by the Gubment to wipe out the Dinos (Bronto's in particular) to make sure they couldn't be ridden into battle again... Them dying out 65 million years ago is 'revisionist history"... This would be so much funnier if there weren't people that believed it to be true....
Comment icon #12 Posted by Rye17 on 8 April, 2015, 1:55
So when is Pluto gonna make its comeback?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Atuke on 8 April, 2015, 5:01
This is great news! Brontosaurus was always the #2 dino behind T-Rex. Let's celebrate with a shot of West Indian Lilac!
Comment icon #14 Posted by Taun on 8 April, 2015, 10:30
So when is Pluto gonna make its comeback? I'm still waiting for the Plutonian Invasion and Revenge fleet to arrive... Some planets don't take kindly to being downgraded...
Comment icon #15 Posted by Myles on 8 April, 2015, 12:11
Killed off a hundred years ago?.... I wasn't even born then (I promise!!) but I was brought up learning about the Brontosaurus, only to find that I was really studying Apatosaurus... Now it's Brontosaurus again? oy veh Same here. I had books when I was growing up in the 70's that taught me about the brontosaurus. It was always my second favorite dinosaur. Behind the triceratops.
Comment icon #16 Posted by MJNYC on 8 April, 2015, 17:58
1960... I was 7 and this song was a GREAT song for a 7 year old!... (Not so much for his - much put on - mother, who had to hear it 5,000 times a day)... LOL, I've never heard this song. I guess my mom was lucky (well, not really!)
Comment icon #17 Posted by Rye17 on 8 April, 2015, 22:45
I'm still waiting for the Plutonian Invasion and Revenge fleet to arrive... Some planets don't take kindly to being downgraded... 4.something billion miles away... I'm not sure the news has reached them yet


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