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Giraffatitan: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Read these Giraffatitan facts to know these dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic period.

The Giraffatitan was named after the African dinosaur Brachiosaurus (B. brancai). This name has been changed because of a more relatively complete material placement of the Giraffatitan specimen. In the initial years, they were known to be the largest dinosaurs, but with the latest research and discoveries by paleontologists, it was, unless otherwise, noted that the four-legged Giraffatitan brancai had comparatively larger Titanosaurids, including the sauropod Sauroposeidon.

The meaning of their name is 'titanic giraffe'. The Giraffatitan brancai lived during the Late Jurassic period and Kimmeridgian-Tithonian stages. The Giraffatitan size for many decades was confused and was based on the specimen HMN SII. The specimen HMN XV2 representing a fibula was 0.3 times larger than the specimen HMN SII. Many several specimens recovered gave different information.

The Giraffatitan skeleton recovered is still not complete even though five skeletons have been recovered. These dinosaurs had limb bones-vertebrae with a long neck. They needed to eat food to meet the energy demands depending upon whether it was a warm-blooded animal or a cold-blooded animal. Still, the debate whether this dinosaur was a cold-blooded or warm-blooded animal is still ongoing.

If you enjoyed reading this article, then do read some interesting facts about other dinosaurs such as Amargasaurus and Sauroposeidon.

Giraffatitan Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Giraffatitan'?

The pronunciation is very easy and simple. All you need to do is break down the word into chunks of syllables like 'ji-raf-a-tie-tan'.

What type of dinosaur was a Giraffatitan?

The Giraffatitan was a sauropod dinosaur with a long neck and. It was in the clade within Dinosauria, Saurischia, Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda, Macronaria, and belonged to the family of Brachiosauridae. The type species of Giraffatitan is Giraffatitan brancai. Earlier, the placement of Giraffatitan was among the Brachiosaurus brancai species. The Giraffatitan size for many decades was confused and was based on the specimen, HMN SII. The specimen HMN XV2 representing a fibula was 0.3 times larger than the specimen HMN SII, but later, some different features were discovered. Brachiosaurus are still considered to be the largest sauropod dinosaurs.

In which geological period did the Giraffatitan roam the earth?

This giant giraffe dinosaur with a long neck roamed around the earth during the Late Jurassic period of the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian stages. This was around 152 million years ago to 142 million years ago.

When did the Giraffatitan become Extinct?

The Giraffatitan became extinct by the end of the Late Jurassic period and Tithonian stage due to climatic conditions and natural calamities. Predators could have also been one of the major reasons for their extinction because this species was herbivorous. They must have been less aggressive in comparison to deadly carnivores.

Where did the Giraffatitan live?

The Giraffatitan lived in German East Africa and Tanzania. The placement of Giraffatitan, the giant giraffe, was discovered in the Tendaguru Formation. The specimen has been kept in the Humboldt Museum in Berlin.

What was the Giraffatitan's habitat?

These giant giraffe sauropod dinosaurs were believed to dwell in subtropical and tropical regions with seasonal rainfall and more dry climatic conditions during the late Jurassic period. This is known as the Tendaguru Formation They would have lived on vegetation that was either low to high lying due to their long necks.

Who did the Giraffatitan live with?

There is not much evidence available in regard to them living in groups or isolation. Most sauropods were believed to live in groups and they used to search for food in another place. However, the exact number of groups or herds is unknown.

How long did a Giraffatitan live?

These sauropods, giant giraffe dinosaurs from the Tendaguru Formation lived during the Late Jurassic period between 152-142 million years ago.

How did they reproduce?

Giraffatitan reproduction is unknown and certain assumptions are given on the general basis of Brachiosaurus brancai. It is believed they reproduced by mating and laying eggs in clutches. The female was more involved during the nestling period.

Giraffatitan Fun Facts

What did the Giraffatitan look like?

The Giraffatitan was claimed to be the largest dinosaur until the 20th century. According to the description of the contents given by scientists, these sauropods from the Late Jurassic period were quadrupedal with a long neck and tail. They were believed to have small brains. The high crested skull of the Giraffatitan had distinguishing features, similar to the Brachiosaurus genus. These dinosaurs, known for their giraffe-like structure, had long forelimbs with very long necks. The Giraffatitan skull had tall arch interior eyes consisting of bony nares and many other openings with front teeth similar to the Camarasaurus. These sauropods, one of the largest dinosaurs, had claws on one toe of their front feet and three toes on their hind feet. The teeth it had resembled chisels, like spatulate teeth.

The Giraffatitan had a giant giraffe-like structure with a long neck and tail.
We've been unable to source an image of Giraffatitan and have used an image of Brachiosaurus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Giraffatitan, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How many bones did a Giraffatitan have?

The exact number of bones in the Giraffatitan is unknown to the world, but from several specimens recovered, it is known that these dinosaurs were not the largest dinosaurs. The Brachiosaurus brancai is the largest. Only five incomplete skeletons have been recovered of these dinosaurs. 

How did they communicate?

There is not much information with regard to communication, but from the different resources and on a general level, it can be predicted that these dinosaurs must have communicated using tactile and olfactory cues. The chemical smell must also have been a form of communication with each other. 

How big were the Giraffatitan?

Giraffatitan sauropods were earlier declared the largest dinosaurs with long necks until in later years, it was found that Brachiosaurus brancai was the largest dinosaur. The Giraffatitan was 82-85 ft (25-26 m) long from snout to tail and 22 ft (6.8 m) tall.

How fast could a Giraffatitan move?

The exact moving speed of these Giraffatitans is unknown, but on a general basis, it can be understood that they must have been slow runners due to their heavyweight and long neck.

How much did a Giraffatitan weigh?

The Giraffatitan weighed around 48 ton (43545 kg), which is almost 10 times bigger than African elephants.

What were the male and female names of the species?

Male and female dinosaurs of this species did not have any specific names and were known by their common names.

What would you call a baby Giraffatitan?

The babies of a Giraffatitan were called juveniles or hatchlings.

What did they eat?

Giraffatitan dinosaurs were herbivorous and fed on different plants such as palm leaves, magnolias, sycamores, and conifers. If they were cold-blooded animals, they would have consumed less compared to warm-blooded animals. If they were warm-blooded animals, then they needed to eat food to meet their energy demands. These dinosaurs had teeth like chisels, which were blunt and made it easier for them to chew the different parts of plants.

How aggressive were they?

According to paleontologists, there are not many resource available about whether they were aggressive or not. However, they must have been aggressive in the context of searching for food, protecting their babies, and defending their territory. They would have protected themselves from predators.

Did you know...

Giraffatitan vs Brachiosaurus: The Brachiosaurus had a sturdier build than the Giraffatitan, with heavy forelimbs and wider space. The size of the tail and torso were larger in comparison to the Giraffatitan. While the Giraffatitan was a slender and more compact dinosaur with a giraffe-like body structure. In the initial years, they were considered a species of Brachiosaurus, but later many distinguishing features were found in both the species specimens. The Giraffatitan was declared an Extinct genus.

In the 20th century, several giant titanosaurids named Argentinosaurus, Puertasaurus, and Futalognkosaurus were larger than the Giraffatitan.

The Giraffatitan had few predators, but the juveniles were preyed upon by carnivores like Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Torvosaurus.

Sauroposeidon proteles are the tallest dinosaurs that have ever been found in the world.

Why are they called Giraffatitan?

They are called Giraffatitan because these dinosaurs had a giant giraffe-like structure. Even so, the meaning of their name is 'titanic giraffe'.

Who discovered Giraffatitan?

The Giraffatitan was discovered by the German paleontologist Werner Janensch in Africa in 1914.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other animals creature from our Abydosaurus facts, or Nigersaurus facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Giraffatitan coloring pages.

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