Kw-logo-smaller

Dinosaur - Apatosaurus (ah-PAT-oh-sawr-us)

The Apatosaurus formerly known as Brontosaurus.
Apatosaurus
A real apatosaurus skull.
Apatosaurus Skull

If you thought that Fred Flinstone's fave pet dino, "Dino," was a brontosaurus, we're sorry - you're wrong. The type of plant-eating dinosaur with the long, skinny neck and tiny head everyone has been calling a brontosaurus for years never really existed! Don't worry - your teachers and the books you read in school weren't intentionally lying to you. It's just that incorrect information has a way of getting around. Well, we're about to set the record straight.


Brontosaurus: The Myth Begins

The bones that were put together to construct the brontosaurus actually came from more than one dinosaur. The man who "found" the bones actually came across the body of an apatosaurus, except the head was missing. He used the head of the closest dino he could find, which actually belonged to a camarasaurus, to complete the skeleton. He put the fossils together and named the "new" dino "brontosaurus."


Brontosaurus: The Mistake is Uncovered

Almost 100 years passed before the error was discovered. Because the body was that of an apatosaurus and it was discovered first, the name "brontosaurus" was dropped. There never really was a dino that looked like a brontosaurus. In fact, the name was dropped way back in the 1970s, but for whatever reason brontosaurus is still a familiar name.


The Brontasaurus Never Really Existed
The Brontasaurus Never Really Existed

Apatosaurus: Will the Real Brontosaurus Please Stand Up?

Apatosaurus was one of the largest animals that ever lived. Some people believe the earth shook when this dino walked. It could grow to over 85 feet long and over 15 feet tall at the hips. Apatosaurus is known for its very long neck, which made it easier to eat greens from trees. They also had big feet: yard-long footprints (called trackways) from this big guy have been found in Colorado. It had a small head along with a small mouth and probably spent most of its time eating to get enough nutrients from plants to stay alive.

Apatosaurus
Courtesy of Neil Riehle

The apatosaurus also had huge, elephant-like legs and a long whiplike tail that may have been used as a defense against large predators. It also had a sharp claw on each thumb that may have deterred attackers. Possibly traveling in herds, these dinosaurs had to eat a lot of food to keep their massive bodies going. They may have swallowed plant matter whole and ground it up with a gizzard, like birds do today.


Dino Flinstone
Turns Out Dino's Bones Belonged to Someone Else!

Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

Cutie Moon

Cutie Moon wrote:

Nice
commented: Fri May 04, 2012

theroflmaster

theroflmaster wrote:

its cool
commented: Sun Oct 30, 2011

Maddy78910

Maddy78910 wrote:

kool
commented: Sat Oct 15, 2011

there are 7 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
get more just like it in your email

F992547244375

What Would You to Like Dig Up?

  • Dinosaur bones.
  • A lost city.
  • Ancient coins.
  • The Ark from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

related stories

This exciting new series by Rex Stone stars Jamie and Tom, who discover a world of adventure in D...
While you've missed your chance to have a real-live dinosaur encounter by about 65 million years,...
If all we have left of dinos are fossils, how do we know what they looked like? Kid...

latest videos

Random in the forums

riley8915
riley8915 posted in Food:
Bologna snadwhich
reply 19 minutes
Gingerkissx
Gingerkissx posted in Food:
spaghetti and bacon on toast.
reply 21 minutes
Crisanna
Crisanna posted in Food:
Donuts and coffee! it was nummy, lol
reply 31 minutes
blakbutterfly
blakbutterfly posted in Food:
"hugebear" wrote:strawberry :angel *Press the invisible like button* :3 
reply 31 minutes
hugebear
hugebear posted in Food:
strawberry :angel
reply 33 minutes

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...

_thumb_100x100

We have all played the famous game Sudoku, now play it online with this Classic ...