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Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus)

Why did paleontologists change the name of the brontosaurus?

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2012-12-22 07:01:52
2012-12-22 07:01:52

During the bone wars of the mid to late 1800s, paleontologists Cope and Marsh were competing to discover and name the most dinosaurs. As a result, Marsh discovered the already established Apatosaurus next to a new species Camarasaurus skull and named it the Brontosaurus or "Thunder Lizard". The scientific classification laws state that once a species is named in a published journal, that first name is the official name for the species. Therefore the Brontosaurus has been wiped out of the history books and it is once again the Apatosaurus.

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Brontosaurus is an invalid name for Apatosaurus excelsus. Paleontologists estimate that Apatosaurus excelsus weighed between 18 and 25 tons. That is about as much as four large elephants.

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Brontosaurus is an invalid name for Apatosaurus excelsus. Yes, Apatosaurus was an herbivore. However, it isn't known what types of plants they ate because paleontologists still don't know how high Apatosaurus held its head.

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Brontosaurus doesn't have a nickname. Brontosaurus is an invalid name for Apatosaurus excelsus. Thus, Brontosaurus is actually a nickname for Apatosaurus.

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Brontosaurus wasn't an actual species. This was an error on the part of paleontologists at the time, who reconstructed this supposed species using the bones of more than one species. So, to answer you question, the brontosaurus didn't ever live.

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Brontosaurus is an invalid name for Apatosaurus excelsus. Thus, Brontosaurus is really another name for Apatosaurus.


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