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Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus)

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Many people have heard of Brontosaurus, it is the popular name for a dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period 157 million and 146 million years ago. The name "Brontosaurus" means "thunder lizard", and is actually very descriptive of the animal, when you consider its massive size, however it is not the technically correct scientific name. The correct name of the animal is "Apatosaurus" which means "deceptive lizard".

You may be wondering why the animal has two names. The reason is actually quite simple – when the first fossils were found by Othniel C. Marsh in 1877 and 1879, he did not realize at the time that they were adult and juvenile specimens of the same animal, and as a result he had each A separate identifying name. However, it was later realized that two names had been used for the animal, and as usual in such cases, the first chosen name, in this case "Apatosaurus", takes priority as the scientific name.

Whatever you call it, this dinosaur was certainly an impressive animal. It had a large body, four sturdy legs, a long tail, a long neck, and a comparatively tiny head. It was exclusively a herbivore (eating only plants), and grew up to 70 feet (21.3 meters) long, and weighed as much as 33 tons.

In the past, some scientists believed Apatosaurus may have struggled to support itself on dry land, and sometimes lived a semi-submerged existence. This view is however no longer so popular, and today it is generally believed that Apatosaurus lived on dry land and was a grazing animal that lived in herds.

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