|“||This is Brachiosaurus, a 13-meter high sauropod that specializes in grazing on the treetops.||„|
| — Allen, describing Brachiosaurus|
in Time of the Titans
Brachiosaurus (brack-ee-oh-saw-us; name meaning "Arm Lizard") is a genus of giant sauropod brachiosaurid dinosaur with long front arms that lived during the Late Jurassic period in what is now North America as well as Africa and Europe.
Named for the large bones of its foreleg, Brachiosaurus was an enormous sauropod, one of the largest dinosaurs known from a complete skeleton. Brachiosaurus was a 13-15 meter tall, 23 meters long, 70 tonne gargantuan reptile, that fed on the tops of Conifer trees in the Late Jurassic forests, sometimes felling them with their sheer bulk if they were taller than them or not.
Brachiosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic Period and the Early Cretaceous Period from 153–135 million years ago. It lived alongside other sauropods and other herbivores as well as predators like Allosaurus. Brachiosaurus was first described by American paleontologist Elmer S. Riggs in 1903 and was arguably the largest living animal of its day.
A gargantuan sauropod dinosaur that specialized in grazing on the treetops, thanks to an exclusive, monopolizing on the tops which "no other dinosaurs can reach", adult Brachiosaurus grew to a staggering 33–42 feet (10–13 m) tall (as tall as a three story building), measured 72–75 feet (22–23 m) long (the length of two buses), and weighed a over 40–70 tons (80,000–140,000 lbs.; more than 10 adult elephants, give or take), making them the largest land animals that of their time have ever existed in North America and one of the largest animals that ever walked Planet Earth.
Brachiosaurus is the archetypal giant Dinosaur of the Jurassic alongside the giant Diplodocidae genus Diplodocus. Brachiosaurus is controversially referred to as 'the largest land animals that have ever existed'. Contextually one must be careful not to mistake this for having to mean that no other Dinosaur was or could be bigger than Brachiosaurus - or that Brachiosaurus was the largest'. From a sensible point of view, one should see that all that is meant by this admittedly dramatic statement, is that up to now it is the biggest, thus meaning so far life on Earth has never seen an animal of the sheer size of Brachiosaurus (in at least). As many now know, Brachiosaurus, thought once the largest Dinosaur ever known for decades, has some many years ago now been relegated - far surpassed by gigantic sauropod dinosaurs like Argentinosaurus.
Nevertheless, Brachiosaurus is a mighty, majestic and awe-inspiring Dinosaur, as famous now as it has been for decades. Its name means, Arm Lizard, in reference to its and its whole families peculiar trait of having longer forelimbs - or 'arms' - than hindlimbs.
Named for the large bones of its forelegs, this dinosaur was an enormous sauropod. Brachiosaurus held its neck in a vertical position and was adapted to live on land, with similarities to a Giraffe, browsing in treetops. Its peg-like teeth were used to strip leaves from the high branches. Unlike many of its sauropod relatives, Brachiosaurus had very long forelegs, indicating that its neck was held in a more vertical position.
Like all sauropods and other herbivorous dinosaurs, Brachiosaurus traveled in herds. When it came to juveniles, even adolescents, being separated from the herd and being threatened by predators, the best thing about living in a herd was that there was always an adult nearby to help. Their kind could effortlessly harvest cones and fresh leaves no other dinosaur could reach. And they had grown enormous on it. These giants were feeding almost constantly to sustain it enormous bulk.
They fed on the tops of Conifer trees in the Late Jurassic forests, sometimes felling them with their sheer bulk if they were taller than them or not. They fed on tall kinds of trees due to the teeth they had (chisel like) were not much sought after by anything else around; tough Conifer leaves and cones. Diplodocus for instance could only strip the soft ferns and cycads with their weak and simple peg like teeth.