Monday, 3 May 2010
It may surprise you to find out that the Brontosaurus is extinct. No? Oh...I see what happened there. Let me rephrase that. The Brontosaurus is a "popular but obsolete synonym". In other words, this article is actually about the Apatosaurus. But I couldn't call the B article "The Apatosaurus", that just wouldn't make sense.
The Apatosaurus has [or had] two names because it was named twice by its discoverer, Othniel Charles Marsh. The Apatosaurus was discovered in 1877 and then the Brontosaurus was "discovered" in 1879. It took another 24 years before another paleontologist realised that they were the SAME DAMN THING. By that time Mr Marsh was well dead and so probably didn't give a shit. Unfortunately it is now stuck with the silly Apatosaurus name, which means Deceptive Lizard, instead of the awesome Brontosaurus name, which means Thunder Lizard. If I was the Brontosaurus I would be feeling pretty ripped off.
The Apatosaurus lived about 150 million years ago, which is, like, ages ago. It had a really really really long neck and a really really really really really long tail. One measurement places the total length of Apatosaurus at 26 meters (85 ft) and its weight at 24-32 tons, roughly the weight of four elephants. I'm not quite sure if I would back four elephants or one Apatosaurus in a fight, although I reckon the smart money would be on the deceptive lizard - it sounds like he would fight dirty.
The Apatosaurus is much more of an on air talent than that silly dinosaur I covered in "A". Monica Devertebrae from that great sit-com Dinosaurs was a Apatosaurus while the 2005 movie King Kong featured a whole herd of "Brontosaurus". Had enough Brontosaurus facts yet? Good. Bye. Ok. Cya.