Apatosaurus used to be known as brontosaurus, following a labelling error on a very similar specimen. Subsequently renamed, Apatosaurus was one of the larger sauropod dinosaurs, and therefore one of the largest animals ever to have walked the Earth. Peg-like teeth effectively stripped leaves from trees, but were no use for chewing, so Apatosaurus probably swallowed stones to grind up its meals in the gizzard. Enormous size, herding behaviour and a whip-like tail would all have provided valuable defence against the meat-eaters of the time.
Scientific name: Apatosaurus
A comparison of the enormous Apatosaurus's size in relation to humans.
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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
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Apatosaurus /əˌpætɵˈsɔrəs/, including the popular but scientifically redundant synonym Brontosaurus, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived from about 154 to 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period (Kimmeridgian and early Tithonian ages). It was one of the largest land animals known to have ever existed, with an average length of 23 m (75 ft) and a mass of at least 16 metric tons (18 short tons).Fossils of these animals have been found in Nine Mile Quarry and Bone Cabin Quarry in Wyoming and at sites in Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah, present in stratigraphic zones 2–6.
The cervical vertebrae were less elongated and more heavily constructed than those of Diplodocus and the bones of the leg were much stockier (despite being longer), implying a more robust animal. The tail was held above the ground during normal locomotion. Like most sauropods, Apatosaurus had only a single large claw on each forelimb, with the first three toes on the hind limb possessing claws.
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