10 “Special” North American Dinosaurs: The Return of Brontosaurus

During the Early Cretaceous, new dinosaurs evolved to replace the old ones. Sauropods were still present, but they were not as diverse as they were in the Jurassic Period. Theropods from the Early Cretaceous of North America include dromaeosaurids such as Deinonychus and Utahraptor,Acrocanthosaurus, and Microvenator.

BRONTOSAURUS!

bron-toh-saw-rus (Thunder lizard) The big, bad, Brontosaurus has returned! After being deemed a synonym for Apatosaurus for so many years, Brontosaurus finally gets to be its own species! The fossil of “Apatosaurus exelsus” seemed way too different to be like other Apatosauruses so, scientists and paleontologists today want to reinstate the glorious name of “Brontosaurus”.

Brontosaurus by Prehistoric Wildlife

Utahraptor

YOO-tah-RAP-tohr (Utah thief) One of the largest dromaeosaurids (the family name for prehistoric murder turkeys like these), Utahraptor was a 7 meter long (22 ft) killing machine with a massive sickle like claw almost a foot long on each of its feet. These were the raptors we saw in Jurassic Park, not Velociraptor…

Artistic interpretation of the Utahraptor and iguanodont by Julius Csotonyi

Parasaurolophus

PAH-rah-saw-RAW-lo-phus (After lizard crest) Parasaurolophus can be considered one of the most famous of all the hadrosaurs (“duck billed dinosaurs”). Although it was not one of the largest, at 9.5 meters (31 ft), it is known for that unusual crest on top of its head. There are many theories as to how the crest was used: For sound production, thermal regulation, or mating displays… And as always, the male with the bigger crest always gets the girl.

Parasaurolophus walkeri
by Paleocolour

Troodon

TROW-o-dawn (Wounding tooth) Discovered all the way back in 1855, when paleontology itself was still a relatively new science (only having been established like 50 years prior), Troodon was one of the first dinosaurs to have been discovered in North America. At 2.4 meters in length (8 ft), it was small, but had serrated teeth within its jaws, like a shark. Compared to its body, its brain was huge, making it one of the smartest dinosaurs ever.

Troodon surrounded by his young, which he fed and protected in the early stages of his life.

Triceratops

try-SE-rah-tops (Three horned face) If you say that you do not remember seeing this dinosaur as a child, you are a liar because everyone knows about Triceratops. See those horns over its eyes? EASILY 1 meter long (3 ft) in length. That frill? SOLID BONE. And at 9 meters in length (30 ft), it would have easily fought Tyrannosaurus rex to a standstill 66 million years ago.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Vs. Triceratops Horridus

Edmontosaurus

Edmontosaurus was a duck billed dinosaur which lived approximately 66 to 74 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. It was first discovered in 1871 in Alberta, Canada—although that fossil was more than likely named Trachodon cavatus by Edward Cope. However, these bones have since been lost. Officially, the bones of this species were named Edmontosaurus in 1917 by Lawrence Lambe. Its name literally means “Edmonton Lizard.”

Edmontosaurus by William Sepulveda

Apatosaurus

ah-pat-oh-saw-rus (Deceptive lizard) Ah, Apatosaurus… how much drama you’ve gone through. That entire Brontosaurus debacle seems to have passed by, though. Apatosaurus wasn’t the largest, or the heaviest sauropod in the world, either. It’s your run of the mill giant dinosaur, at 23 meters in length (75 ft), and 18 tons.

Apatosaurus was fairly heavyset – AMNH

Stegosaurus

stay-GOH-saw-rus (Roofed lizard) Stegosaurus honestly was one of the dumbest of it’s kind in the long history of dinosaurs. Yes, its brain was the size of a walnut, but can you blame it? It’s 9 meters long (30 ft), and had 1 meter long spikes (3 ft) on its tail that paleontologists have AFFECTIONATELY called “Thagomizers”. You don’t need a brain when you’ve got THAGOMIZERS.

Stegosaurus by Prehistoric Wildlife

Allosaurus

AH-low-saw-rus (Different lizard) This is the kind of animal that dinosaurs like Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, and BRONTOSAURUS had to put up with. Allosaurus was known as the “Lion of the Jurassic”, the T. rex before T. rex was even born! 8 meters long (26 ft), strong arms, and an agile body, Allosaurus did not kidding around. And did I mention that it might have hunted it packs?

Size comparison: Allosaurus vs T. rex

Tyrannosaurus rex

tie-RAHN-oh-saw-rus REKS (Tyrant Lizard King) T. rex. What else is there to be said about Tyrannosaurus rex. It’s the most famous dinosaur in the world. We know it’s full name. It’s not just Tyrannosaurus. It’s Tyrannosaurus rex. Actually, we can talk about its arms. They’re honestly just small because they’re basically attached to 12 meters (40 ft) of muscle. They were the length of your own arms right now. AND THEY CAN CURL 430 POUNDS. A HUMAN CAN ONLY CURL ABOUT 270.

Tyrannosaurus rex by Teratophoneus (Robinson Kunz)

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