Brachiosaurus Size Facts For The Budding Paleontologist In You

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Mar 11, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Nov 17, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Shruti Thapa
Brachiosaurus was a sauropod dinosaur
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.2 Min

The Brachiosaurus lived during the late Jurassic period, many million years ago, in North America.

When it was initially discovered, it was thought to be the largest dinosaur ever, even though now we have found other sauropods that are even bigger. They had very long forelimbs, and it is believed that this is probably the reason why they had inclined backs.

In comparison to other sauropods, the Brachiosaurus had a long neck, a tiny head, and a short and small tail. This animal weighed around 56,000 lbs. ( 28 metric tons) or more, and they are estimated to have been roughly 85 ft (26 m) tall. Although the Brachiosaurus is a very large dinosaur, the largest dinosaurs discovered are the Titanosaurs.

They are believed to be very tall and big, and therefore the largest dinosaur to ever exist. They are also from the Sauropod genus, and they could be the last number of the Sauropod family with long necks. The Brachiosaurus is a giraffe-like animal, and it lived many million years ago. The length of their forelimbs is longer than their hind limbs, and due to the same, their name means arm lizard. During the late Jurassic period, most Sauropods had longer hind legs, making this animal stand out.

A related species to this dinosaur is the Brachiosaurid Giraffatitan. The Giraffatitan was similar to the Brachiosaurus in many ways in its body proportions, including its weighed size. Even though they have many similarities, the Giraffatitan was believed to have a slightly lighter weight than the Brachiosaurus. People love hearing about the Brachiosaurus due to its unique eating habits and similarities to creatures that exist today. Their weight and body length are also factors that make many experts very fascinated with them. According to the fossils found of this dinosaur, its big skeleton may be the reason for its large size and long neck.

A fun fact about these dinosaurs is that movies love them! These animals have been featured in many movies, most notably the Jurassic Park movies. One of the animals that appear in the star wars franchise is also based on the Brachiosaurus. You can take a look at Brachiosaurus vs. brontosaurus and savanna animals to learn more interesting facts here on Kidadl.

What did brachiosauruses eat?

The Brachiosaurus had a skull that featured a large nose and strong jawbones with spoon-shaped teeth ideal for removing and stripping plants. Brachiosaurus most likely ate conifers, ginkgoes, or cycads.

Many researchers believe adult sauropods like this dinosaur were required to consume up to 880 lb (400 kg) of dried plant stuff as food per day. These dinosaurs are said to have ingested entire plants since their teeth were designed for extracting vegetation rather than splitting up huge portions. They mostly traveled in herds. It was typical for a herd of Brachiosaurus to move on from an area after finishing off all the vegetation there. Scientists think that due to the similarity this dinosaur shares with giraffes, they could be high browsers. This means that they probably ate leaves and vegetation from the tips and ends of trees.

Did they have predators?

There were presumably no predators for a healthy and full-grown adult Brachiosaurus. Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Torvosaurus were the biggest recorded meat-eaters of the period found in Africa and North America. Some scientists do believe that bigger species like the Allosaurus could have preyed on some Brachiosaurus.

Its skull was relatively quite tiny, despite its enormous size, and it is believed that the brachiosaurus brain size was relatively small. Fortunately, this dinosaur didn't have to be very clever to outsmart predators. Its massive size had benefits, and the typical adult Brachiosaurus was likely protected from predators startled by its size. The young, aged, and frail, on the other hand, were most likely not safe. Violent predatory dinosaurs like Allosaurus most likely ganged up on the young and weak. If this dinosaur had moved in groups, the adults might have kept the herd's more vulnerable residents safe. They also possessed strong claws on their feet, which might have been used to fend off probable predators simply by striking at them.

Brachiosaurus altithorax herd

How did they go extinct?

Most researchers believe that this dinosaur went extinct along with the rest of the dinosaurs. As per common perception, a meteor strike on Earth's crust caused the extinction of the Brachiosaurus dinosaur in the late cretaceous period.

Scientists believe that a massive meteorite collided with the Earth, causing a flaming shock wave that wiped out most of Earth's population. Several dinosaurs, including the Brachiosaurus, may have been killed off as a result of the hit. The meteorite may have triggered a climatic shift, resulting in an ice age that froze practically everything. Most dinosaurs may have been killed as a result of their inability to withstand the cold.

Brachiosaurus Fossils Around The World

In 1900, the very first Brachiosaurus fossils were discovered in Grand River Valley, Colorado. Despite its imposing figure in the prehistoric landscape, Atlas Obscura reports that just ten verified Brachiosaurus bones have been unearthed, none of which are whole. As per specialists, brachiosaurus humeri, or top forelimb bones, are extremely uncommon.

The Brachiosaurus bones were initially found in 1883 at Garden Park, Colorado, when Othniel Marsh uncovered a Brachiosaurus head that he assumed related to his Brontosaurus skeleton. Experts didn't accurately identify it as a Brachiosaurus skull until 1998, although the specific genus of the dinosaur bones is still uncertain. Other giraffe-like dinosaur fossils have been uncovered in Utah, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Colorado, among other places in Northern America.

The Brachiosaurus is one of the oldest dinosaurs that one can find. The various fossils that have been found support this. What makes them astonishing is the simple similarities with creatures that exist today, like the giraffe. Although these creatures existed so many centuries ago, it is incredible to see all the things we can find out about it with the help of living beings alive and well today.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for articles on Brachiosaurus size facts, then why not take a look at how high can a kangaroo jump, or know more about the fox paw print.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction