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Childhood Validated: New Study Says Brontosaurus Existed After All

Tree stars for everyone!


A wide-ranging computer analysis of available dinosaur bones reached one of the most important paleontological conclusions of our time: the Brontosaurus is real, and the Apatosaurus can just deal with it. Brb—there are a bunch of Wikipedia entries I need to change to: “In your face!”

The Brontosaurus was originally discovered shortly after the Apatosaurus in 1887, but years later, it was decided the Brontosaurus specimen was actually just a young Apatosaurus, which would account for its skeletal differences. So, they stuck with the significantly less awesome name of Apatosaurus for the fossils’ scientific genus, because that one came first, and science isn’t based on which name sounds cooler for some reason.

But no more! A new computer analysis which looked at 477 features in the bones of Longneck Diplodocidae family dinosaurs found that there were enough differences in the skeletons of Brontosaurus specimens to warrant their own scientific genus. Mark Norell, paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, told Wired, “The real importance of this paper is this is the first time that this group of sauropods have been analyzed in a big fashion.”

“Essentially we have been trying to figure out these damn dinosaurs since the first carcass was pulled out of Colorado in 1877,” added Matthew Mossbrucker of the Morrison Natural History Museum in Colorado. And figure it out they have; after calling another colleague to double check their results, the team behind the study is confident in reinstating the Brontosarus name.

Childhood associations with the name Brontosaurus validated?


(via Popular Mechanics)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.