You are here: Prehistoric > Dinosaur species > Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus

BrachiosaurusBrachiosaurus was a huge sauropod that lived in North America during the Late Jurassic Period. Like all sauropods, it had a long, flexible neck, but a relatively short tail. It front legs were longer than its hindlegs, giving it a sloping back and a giraffe-like posture. One toe on its front feet and three on its back feet were clawed. Although Brachiosaurus was probably a cold-blooded animal whose temperature was dependent on its surroundings, because it was so large it would have gained or lost heat more slowly than a smaller animal.


Head

Brachiosaurus's headBrachiosaurus had a distinctive high-crested skull with large nasal openings above its eyes. Its low snout was filled with chisel-like teeth. 

Brachiosaurus reaching up into the trees to feed

Giraffe necks

Just like a modern giraffe, Brachiosaurus’s long neck enabled it to reach high into the branches of trees. Here it could browse on new leaves and shoots that smaller animals could not reach. It might have been able to rear up on its hind legs for even extra height when feeding from branches. Brachiosaurus had 13 vertebrae in its neck. These were hollow to make them as light as possible, otherwise its neck would have been too heavy for Brachiosaurus to lift up.

Brachiosaurus means “arm lizard”, so-called because its forelimbs were—unusually for a dinosaur—longer than its hindlimbs.

Q-files now has new sections specially written for younger readers. They are: Living world, Earth, Science, Human body, Prehistoric life, Space, History, Geography and Technology.


Find the answer