The Brontosaurus was one of the biggest animals that ever existed on our Planet. It is easily recognizable due to its long neck, long tail, small head and mostly because this dinosaur has been the star of many movies, TV shows and animations.
However, for more than 100 years, scientists believed that this dinosaur did not exist.
The first specimen belonging to the Brontosaurus genus was named by Othniel Charles Marsh, a renowned paleontologist, in 1879.
That specimen is still displayed in the Great Hall at Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History.
But in 1903, paleontologist Elmer Riggs, claimed that the Brontosaurus was actually the same as a different genus of dinosaur, known as the Apatosaurus. This genus was first discovered in 1877 by Marsh.
However, a new study suggests that the Brontosaurus belongs to a genus of its own. The researchers who conducted the study discovered that the Brontosaurus fossils differ from those of the Apatosaurus.
Emanuel Tschopp, a paleontologist at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal and one of the lead authors of the study, explained that Brontosaurus’s neck is different than Apatosaurus’s, meaning that it is longer and less wide.
So even though both dinosaurs were very massive creatures, it looks like the Apatosaurus was even bigger than Brontosaurus.
In the new study, which is almost 300 pages long, the scientists analyzed 477 different physical features from 81 specimens of sauropods.
The analysis concluded that there are three known species of Brontosaurus: Brontosaurus excelsus, B. yahnahpin and B. parvus.
Jacques Gauthier, a curator at Peabody, said that he is very excited that the Brontosaurus is back. Gauthier said that he never agreed to the fact that this dinosaur was put into the Apatosaurus genus.
Mike Taylor, a paleontologist at the University of Bristol in England, said that the new study is incredibly complex, full of detailed illustrations and information. Taylor praised the authors’ involvement in the new study say that it does indeed set a new standard in dinosaur studies.
Another paleontologist, Mathew Wedel from the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, said of the new research:
“The incredible amount of work here is what other research is going to be building on for decades.”
The authors of the study said that this kind of detailed research would not have been possible 10-15 years ago because there weren’t many Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus specimens discovered back then.
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