Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)

Our subscribers' grade-level estimate for this page: 1st - 2nd

ZoomDinosaurs.com
ALL ABOUT DINOSAURS!
What is a Dinosaur? Dino Info Pages Dinosaur Coloring Print-outs Name That Dino Biggest, Smallest, Oldest,... Evolution of Dinosaurs Dinos and Birds Dino Myths

Brachiosaurus
"Arm Lizard"
Brachiosaurus Printout
Simple Brachiosaurus Printout
Brachiosaurus Skeleton Printout
Brachiosaurus Questions and Answers
Brachiosaurus Fact Sheet

ANATOMY
BrachiosaurusBrachiosaurus was one of the tallest and largest dinosaurs yet found. It had a long neck, small head, and relatively short, thick tail.

Brachiosaurus walked on four legs and, like the other Brachiosaurids and unlike most dinosaurs, its front legs were longer than its hind legs. These unusual front legs together with its very long neck gave Brachiosaurus a giraffe-like stance and great height, up to 40-50 feet (12-16 m) tall.

Brachiosaurus was about 85 feet (26 m) long, and weighed about 33-88 tons (30-80 tonnes). It had a claw on the first toe of each front foot and claws on the first three toes of each rear foot (each foot had five toes with fleshy pads).

Brachiosaurus skull Like other Brachiosaurids, it had chisel-like teeth, its nostrils were on the top of its head, and it had large nasal openings indicating that it may have had a good sense of smell. Brachiosaurus had 26 teeth on its top jaw and 26 on the bottom for a total of 52 teeth towards the front of the mouth.



DIET
Brachiosaurus was an herbivore, a plant eater. It probably ate the tops of tall trees with its large spatulate (chisel-shaped) teeth. It swallowed its food whole, without chewing it, digesting the plant material in its gut.



WHEN BRACHIOSAURUS LIVED
Brachiosaurus lived in the middle to late Jurassic period, about 156-145 million years ago, near the middle of the Mesozoic Era, the Age of Reptiles. Some dating estimates have Brachiosaurus surviving until 140 million years ago, during the dawn of the Cretaceous period.

Among the contemporaries of Brachiosaurus were other giant Sauropods including Camarasaurus, Supersaurus, Ultrasauros, and Haplocanthosaurus.

HABITAT
Brachiosaurus was a terrestrial animal. It was assumed for many years that giant sauropods spent most of their time in water, letting the water support their weighty bodies while breathing through their lofty nostrils. Now it is believed that they were fully terrestrial, just as Elmer S. Riggs, who first described Brachiosaurus, argued in a 1904 article. He believed, as most modern scientists do, that Brachiosaurus' feet and limbs were not broad enough to support the heavy animal in mud, that its back was flexible enough to support it on land, and that its chest was narrow and deep, which is insufficient for breathing underwater, and inconsistent with modern-day water-dwelling large animals (like hippos).

POSSIBLE PREDATORS
A healthy, adult Brachiosaurus probably had no predators. The largest-known meat-eaters from that time (the late Jurassic period) and place (North America and Africa) were Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Torvosaurus. These theropods were less than half the size of Brachiosaurus, and probably had much easier prey to hunt (like smaller sauropods and ornithischians like stegosaurs).

BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS
BrachiosaurusBrachiosaurus and some of the other large sauropods (the huge long-necked plant-eaters) needed to have large, powerful hearts and very high blood pressure in order to pump blood up the long neck to the head and brain. The heads (and brains) of Brachiosaurus was held high (many meters) above its heart. This presents a problem in blood-flow engineering. In order to pump enough oxygenated blood to the head to operate Brachiosaurus' brain (even its tiny sauropod brain) would require a large, powerful heart, tremendously high blood pressure, and wide, muscular blood vessels with many valves (to prevent the back-flow of blood). Brachiosaurus' blood pressure was probably over 400 mm Mercury, three or four times as high as ours.

BEHAVIOR

INTELLIGENCE
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus) and Stegosaurus had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain.

Brachiosaurus was a sauropod, whose intelligence (as measured by its relative brain to body weight, or EQ) was the among the lowest of the dinosaurs.

EQ


LOCOMOTION
Brachiosaurus was quadrupedal, walking on four legs. Unlike most other dinosaurs, the front legs were longer than the hind legs.

DISCOVERY OF FOSSILS
Brachiosaurus was first found in the Grand River Valley, in western Colorado, USA, in 1900. This incomplete skeleton was described by paleontologist Elmer S. Riggs, who named Brachiosaurus in 1903. In 1909, Werner Janensch found many Brachiosaurus fossils in Tanzania, Africa. Many Brachiosaurus fossils have been found, in North America and Africa.

CLASSIFICATION
Brachiosaurus belonged to the:
BRACHIOSAURUS ACTIVITIES AND LINKS



Information Sheets About Dinosaurs
(and Other Prehistoric Creatures)

Just click on an animal's name to go to that information sheet. If the dinosaur you're interested in isn't here, check the Dinosaur Dictionary or the list of Dinosaur Genera. Names with an asterisk (*) were not dinosaurs.
How to write a great dinosaur report.

For dinosaur printouts, click here.

For brief dinosaur fact sheets, click here.




Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.




Copyright ©1996 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page