Gentle Giants All About The Brachiosaurus
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage Ceylon Today Features
One of the few dinosaurs in Jurassic Park that actually lived in the Jurassic Period, the brachiosaurus is one of the most iconic creatures of all these ancient lizards.
That’s because of how mind-blowingly enormous these creatures are. Scientists believe that these creatures would have grown large enough to be as tall as a four storey building.
We first learnt about the brachiosaurus from a discovery around the year 1900 in America. Massive fossils of bones were found and soon, everyone was excited to learn more about this newly discovered creature from ancient times.
Those who study fossils to figure out what ancient animals looked like are called Palaeontologists (bit of a mouthful, I know). After studying that and other fossils that were discovered later, they were able to come up with an idea about what they might have looked like and how their life might have been hundreds of millions of years ago.
A brachiosaurus would have easily stood out from among the many dinosaurs out there. Part of the Sauropod family of dinosaurs, these creatures had massive bodies that towered above the others, long necks and limbs that all made them very unique and remarkable. At first, palaeontologists thought that they lived in the water because of their massive weight, but in the end it was discovered that they were in fact, land animals.
Brachiosaurus is said to have had longer front limbs when compared to their rear ones, which is why they got their name, which means ‘arm lizard’ in Greek. While there are other dinosaurs of the same family of the brachiosaurus they never made it into popular movies such as Jurassic Park and of course, aren’t as popular.
Big friendly giants
As big as they might be, these gigantic animals were only dangerous because of their size. It’s thought that these animals lived off on the foliage of the forests, thanks to their massively long necks.
This is important, because to maintain their massive bodies, a brachiosaurus would have needed to eat roughly 200-400 kilograms of plant matter a day. By having a higher reach, thanks to their long necks, they were able to reach for food that many other dinosaurs couldn’t. This way, other plant-eating dinosaurs didn’t have to compete for food and the brachiosaurus could still eat their fill.
Not the biggest
A brachiosaurus is absolutely massive in size. However, they aren’t the biggest animals to ever walk on Earth. That honour goes to the argentinosaurus, which towers over everyone else with its estimated 40 metres in length and 100 metric tonne weight; the largest land animal that we know to have ever lived.
Of course, there’s so much more to learn about these gentle giants. However, we will be talking about some other interesting dinosaurs next week.