|1st Species||Brachiosaurus altithorax|
|Time Range||154-153 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||Arm reptile|
|Physical Dimensions||23.8 meters long|
Brachiosaurus is a brachiosaurid sauropod sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of the United States of America. It was named in 1903 by Elmer Samuel Riggs. It was one of the most unique sauropods to walk the Earth (being proportioned like a giraffe rather than an early sauropod), and it was one of the tallest dinosaurs to walk the earth.
Brachiosaurus was a unique sauropod, as it had a bulky body, a deep torso, 4 large, erect, pillar-like legs, a moderately long tail, a long neck, and a small head. Another interesting thing to note is that its forelegs were just as long as its hindlegs (causing its body to slope downwards), and it had a large, bony arch above its eyes and just behind its nostrils. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin.
Brachiosaurus was an herbivore, feeding on leaves from large trees. Its peg-like teeth were used to strip branches of their leaves, and its long neck and limbs allowed it to access vegetation some 15 meters in the air without rearing.
Like its semi-distant cousins, Brontosaurus and Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus was thought to be a swamp-dwelling herbivore, constantly feeding on underwater plants; however, recent findings have confirmed that it was almost completely terrestrial, feeding on large ground plants such as trees. Due to its extremely long, upwards-pointing neck, it was able to feed off the treetops without having to rear up like the smaller diplodocids would have needed to (it still would have been able to rear up, due to a light upper body); this would have minimized competition with other Jurassic herbivores. As well as this, despite its enormous mass, it had avian air sacs that lay in its neck and trunk and connected to its lungs; this lowered its body density, and by extension, it lowered its weight. Along with this, its head had a large, bony arch located just above its eyes and behind its snout; earlier, this arch was thought to house the nostrils, before being hypothesized as a resonating chamber used for amplifying its calls (similar to to the crest of the large hadrosaur Parasaurolophus).
In popular cultureEdit
Brachiosaurus was first introduced to the public through its display at the Berlin Museum of Natural History, where the African species of Brachiosaurus, Brachiosaurus brancai (now Giraffatitan) was showcased. Since then, it has gained a little bit of attention, appearing in major pieces of media such as The Lost World and Fantasia. Its splendid, awe-inspiring appearance in the 1993 science fiction movie Jurassic Park (once again based on Giraffatitan) has managed to give it a large popularity boost, causing it to seriously complete with the American public's Brontosaurus and the European public's Diplodocus for the place of "most popular long-necked dinosaur".