New analysis splits iconic dino from Apatosaurus genus
Davide Bonadonna, Milan, Italy
After spending more than a century dismissed as a mislabeled Apatosaurus, Brontosaurus may be getting its identity back.
The long-necked dinosaur deserves a genus distinct from that of Apatosaurus, a team of European paleontologists report April 7 in PeerJ. Two other dinosaurs classified under Apatosaurus should also migrate to the Brontosaurus genus, the researchers determined after reviewing all the members of the Diplodocidae family of dinosaurs.
The original Brontosaurus excelsus (meaning “thunder lizard”) was named in 1879. But in 1903, paleontologists decided that Brontosaurus excelsus was so similar to species in the Apatosaurus genus that it belonged there as well.