The Brachiosaurus is one of the most famous Sauropods to ever roam the earth and here are fifteen facts brought to you by our team at the Museum of Ancient Life all about them.
- Did you know that giraffes are Brachiosaurus descendants? No? Good, because it’s not true and we’re supposed to be filling your heads with knowledge, not nonsense. Ok, now the real facts.
- Their name means “Arm Lizard”.
- They lived during the late Jurassic period.
- They lived in the Morrison Formation – a Jurassic-age formation covering most of the western United States. Allosaurus and Stegosaurus also lived in this formation.
- They were discovered in 1900 in Colorado by Elmer S. Riggs.
- They were Macronarian Sauropods – meaning they had long necks, high-domed heads, short tails (for a dinosaur), and longer front legs than back legs.
- They were herbivores – straight-up vegetarians (get it, because they have long necks that shoot straight up to the trees to eat their favorite leaves)
- There is currently only one species: Brachiosaurus altithorax.
- They could live to be 100 years old.
- They ate between 400 and 900 pounds of food a day. That’s a lot of salad.
- They had 52 cone-shaped teeth that were great for munching up foliage.
- Recent estimates say they weighed around 58 metric tons (120,000 lbs.) and were 13 meters tall (42 feet).
- It is thought that they would rear up onto their back legs to reach higher-up leaves or for intraspecies combat.
- Brachiosaurus had an air-sac circulatory system (like modern birds). A massive air sack would have sat on either side of their cervical vertebra (neck bone), making their bones lighter and supporting their weight.
- They were once believed to be semi-aquatic. Naturalists thought that these dinosaurs could only support their heavy weight by walking along the bottoms of lakes and rivers and sticking its head out of the surface to breathe and eat. It was later revealed through *science* that the high water pressure would have suffocated them.
You can see a Brachiosaurus at the Museum of Ancient Life or in Ashton Gardens during Dinosaur Island!