When people hear the word "dinosaur", many think of the long-necked Sauropods. The most famous of these was called "Brontosaurus", but it was discovered that brontosaurus fossils were the same as those of a previously named dinosaur: APATOSAURUS. Apatosaurus was heavy, with a long muscular neck and elephant-like legs. It had a long whiplike tail that may have been used as a defense against large predators. It also had a sharp claw on each thumb that may have deterred attackers. Possibly traveling in herds, these dinosaurs had to eat a lot of food to keep their massive bodies going. They may have swallowed plant matter whole and ground it up with a gizzard, much as birds do today.

ORDER Saurischia
SUBORDER Sauropodomorpha
FAMILY Diplodocidea
DIET Herbivorous
SIZE 70 feet long, 14 feet at the shoulder, 25 tons
PERIOD Late Jurassic
RANGE Western North America


Copyright 2000 Neil Riehle