Brachiosaurus lived about 150 million years
ago in what is now the western part of the USA. Its name means “arm
lizard”, chosen because its forelimbs were longer than its hindlimbs,
giving it a distinctive profile with its back sloping upwards from hip to
Weighing up to fifty metric tonnes,
Brachiosaurus was big enough that it didn’t need to fear predators — not even
the mighty Allosaurus, which lived in the same time and place.
But Brachiosaurus was not a common
dinosaur, and is known only from a handful of incomplete skeletons. Much of
what we know about it is filled in from its African cousin Giraffatitan, which
is known from a complete skeleton.
With its tall shoulders and long neck,
Brachiosaurus was perfectly adapted for browsing from high trees, effortlessly
stripping branches with strong jaws full of robust teeth.
Mike Taylor is a
software engineer by day, but by night researches the biology of the sauropods,
the biggest of all the dinosaurs. He has named the sauropods Xenoposeidon and
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