Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Barosaurus

80 different Dinosaurs were discovered by Othniel Charles Marsh during the "Bone Wars" and Barosaurus was one of them.

This relative to the more famous Diplodocus lived during the Upper Jurassic, between 155 and 145 millions years go. Its fossils were first uncovered by Marsh in 1889, and parts have been found in various western American states.

Barosaurus was a very long Dinosaur-- adults could reach more than 80 feet from head to tail, and weight upwards of 40,000lbs. Their necks alone stretched to 30ft! That's almost two giraffes!

The neck of a Barasaurus raises some questions about how this Dinosaur's circulatory system worked. If they held their neck straight up it would require an abnormally massive heart to pump blood all the way to the brain. There are theories that Barosaurus either had secondary heart-like structures in its neck, to help move the blood upwards, or they kept their necks parallel to the ground. However, it is difficult to prove either theory-- soft tissue does not exist for these creatures, and the fossilized vertebrae suggest that the Sauropod did stand with its neck stretching upwards. Either way, very interesting things to think about!

Status : Extinct 145 million years
Location : North America
Size : Full length up to 85ft (26m), Weight up to 44,000lbs (20 metric tons)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Clade : Dinosauria -- Suborder : †Sauropodomorpha
Family : †Diplodocidae -- Genus : †Barosaurus -- Species : † B. lentus
Image : Debivort, Ryan Somma

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