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The Brontosaurus Returns


The brontosaurus, one of the largest animals on dry land to ever walk the Earth, has been rehabilitated among the scientific community after having been classified as a species of Apatosaurus and not a separate species 10 years ago.

It is not the 1st time that brontosaurus has fallen into disfavor, reminds Reuters. For a period of 100 years (up until the middle of the 20th century) the scientific community did not even believe that this animal even existed. The found skeletons were labeled as fakes, something that the discoverers had made themselves.

Characteristic of the brontosaurus, besides its gargantuan size, was its exceptionally long neck. In the late Jurassic period and beginning of the Cretaceous, these dinosaurs were the most widespread species on the planet.

The revival of the species came after a study by researchers from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal, calling for brontosauruses to once again be classified as their own species and not a variation of Apatosaurus.

The authors of the study managed to convince the scientific community after they presented a detailed comparative analysis of brontosaurus remains, found during archaeological digs in the 70s of the 19th century, and of other similar dinosaurs.

The data clearly shows fundamental differences between the 2 species of dinosaurs. Aside from the differences in food habits, it was proven with accuracy that the structures of the skeletons were as if belonging to 2 separate species of animals.

At peak physical condition, brontosauruses reached a length of about 72 ft (22 m) and a weight of approximately 2200 pounds (40 tons). Despite the neglect on the part of scientists, the name of the enormous dinosaur is extraordinarily well-known in pop culture.

It literally means "thunder lizard". The name was given by the scientist who first discovered its remains - the prominent paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh. The scientist gave the dinosaur that name, theorizing that because of its size, its footsteps echoed like thunder when it walked.

Experts say that bringing back the good name of the brontosaurus is comparable to restoring the status of Pluto as a planet which was in 2006 demoted to a dwarf planet.