Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity


Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Apatosaurus isn’t a name that most of us have heard commonly. Thanks to Steven Spielberg, we were all introduced to the fascinating world of dinosaurs way back in 1993. The success of Jurassic Park was evident that we have a deep interest in the largest lifeforms that ever roamed over the earth. However, there have always been issues with the identification of some species of dinosaurs. Since we never saw them directly, we had to speculate depending on the fossils and remains.

Apatosaurus Is Known By A Different Name

Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity

Believe it or not, the reason many among us never heard the name of Apatosaurus is because it was mistakenly identified by another name. However, you probably have heard the name Brontosaurus. Yes, I am talking about the enormous herbivorous dinosaurs. Remember the plan eating dinosaurs we all saw in numerous movies that came out over the years? We all love them so dearly. To be even more precise, these calm creatures, as shown in the movies, are similar to the elephants. Now, who does not love elephants? Apatosaurus was mistakenly rechristened as Brontosaurus.

What’s The Story All About?

Here is a fun fact that you probably did not know until now. In the late 1800s, paleontologists unearthed bones of a dinosaur. They could not define the exact species. These bones were of Apatosaurus. But, the scientists, thinking this is another type of herbivore dinosaur, named it Brontosaurus. It was not until 1911 that they understood their mistake. Well, you are probably thinking, then why did we not see them in Jurassic Park? The reason is simple. The name Brontosaurus somehow stuck. Probably because it has a “herbivore” ring to it! Don’t you think so?

Where Were The Apatosaurus?

Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity
Apatosaurus: A Case Of Mistaken Identity

The earth at the time of dinosaurs used to look extremely different. We all know that the continents moved and became the way they are today. But, millions of years ago, the locations were not where they are today. But, considering the current map, the Apatosaurus roamed the earth which is currently west of North America. There were various herbivorous dinosaurs as well. Brachiosaurus, Barosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Diplodocus roamed this area. The question can come, how can one area support so many herbivores? Even though the trees were massive, if all dinosaurs start eating from the same place, it can be difficult for them to sustain over time. The answer lies in their height.

Height Matters

The height of herbivorous dinosaurs differs from one species to another. This is not merely another feature. The height difference meant that each species will eat from different heights. So, even though we find at least five different types of herbivore dinosaurs, it is possible for the forest and greenery in that region to sustain them.

Nature indeed has fascinating ways! No matter what, there is hardly any flaw in the plan of nature. And, if you did not know this, earth faced the extinction of life five times! Each time life found a way again!

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