Fun Brontosaurus Facts For Kids

Nidhi Sahai
Feb 29, 2024 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Sep 28, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover interesting Brontosaurus facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

The Brontosaurus in the genus Brontosaurus and sauropods of the phylum Chordata, clade Dinosauria, superfamily Diplodocoidea, and subfamily Apatosaurinae, is a sauropod that was existence in the earliest times. There were three species discovered of this dinosaur namely Brontosaurus excelsus, B. parvus, and B. yahnahpin. The first one to be discovered was the Brontosaurus genus by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879. The paleontologist Elmer Riggs said that the Brontosaurus was the same as that of the genus Apatosaurus in 1903. The Brontosaurus specimen is still there in the Great Hall of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History. The scientists Tschopp with his colleagues Roger Benson and Octávio Mateus detailed the findings of this dinosaur.

Got an interest in dinosaurs? Here you can learn more about Sarmientosaurus and Buriolestes and can get more insights about them.

Brontosaurus Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Brontosaurus'?

The pronunciation of this long-tailed dinosaur is 'bron-tuh-sawr-uhs'. The meaning of its name is 'thunder lizard', and it goes well with a dinosaur whose every step was able to shake the whole ground!

What type of dinosaur was a Brontosaurus?

This American long neck Brontosaurus genus was a sauropod dinosaur which is one of the categories of animals that lived around the world and has many fossils of their existence.

In which geological period did the Brontosaurus roam the Earth?

The sauropod Brontosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous epochs which were about 160-100 million years ago from now. They were discovered on the western side of North America in 1874. Their contemporaries were the Apatosaurus and Diplodocus.

When did the Brontosaurus become extinct?

This long-neck Brontosaurus became extinct roughly around 150 million years ago. There are theories about the extinction of these dinosaurs. They were so large and massive that they could not move through the forests efficiently, feed on huge areas of vegetation, and they were unable to stand in the swampy ground without sinking. They are believed to be the own causes of their slow deaths.

Where did a Brontosaurus live?

This dinosaur was more of a land dinosaur but there were instances that they might have lived in marsh or swamp areas. The fossils of this dinosaur were found in states of North America like Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado.

Fossils have been found in North America in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. At one time, scientists thought that the Apatosaurus lived in water and swampy areas. This was because its nostrils are on the top of its head.

What was a Brontosaurus' habitat?

The land habitat of this dinosaur included the areas of prairies filled with ferns, horsetails, and bennettites. They also used to move through the vast forests, shrublands, conifer forests, seed ferns, groves of cycads, and Gingkos

Who did a Brontosaurus live with?

According to the many fossils found of these animals, they had an active social life compared to other types of dinosaurs. They used to travel to different terrestrial lands in small groups of the same species in search of food and water when their previous food supply was depleted. Their contemporaries were the Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Dryosaurus, and Stegosaurus.

How long did a Brontosaurus live?

According to the fossils studies, it is believed that these sauropod dinosaurs lived for about 100 years overall. The exact lifespan of a Brontosaurus is not known as of now, but they lived in the late Jurassic period which was from 156-145 million years ago. The first fossils were in the USA in the 1870s.

How did they reproduce?

There is no information regarding the reproduction of this species.

Brontosaurus Fun Facts

What did a Brontosaurus look like?

This huge long-neck dinosaur name Brontosaurus was a sauropod dinosaur. They had very long necks and tails (whiplike). Their body was very massive and wide. They had smoother scales compared to other sauropods, and also had tiny spines on their back, and an elegant and arched back. They were dark green, brown, or black in color and very rarely, the Brontosaurus was light in color. Their limbs were very robust and the arms were stout. Their humerus used to resemble that of Camarasaurus. These dinosaurs had only a single large claw present on each forelimb. 

The distinct features of this Brontosaurus excelsus make it one of the most interesting dinosaurs to kids.)

How many bones did a Brontosaurus have?

The exact number of bones in the whole body is not known yet because the skull of the Brontosaurus (thunder lizard) has not been found yet from the fossils, only some parts of the body have been found. They had paired spines and because of that, they had a wide and deep neck. Their spine and tails had 15 cervical, five sacrals, 82 caudals, and 10 dorsals. They had varied caudal vertebrae.

How did they communicate?

This long-necked species had a complex language of communication for both long and short distances. They used whale-like hoots and they also had a specific singing for long-distance communication during sunset. They used their big size very efficiently to communicate. During feeding, when they used to get separated from their herds, they communicated through stomping signals which were transmitted by ground over short distances and were efficiently received by the other members of the group. Alarming the other dinosaurs from afar about a predator or any other danger was a method to keep them safe.

How big was a Brontosaurus?

The Apatosaurus brontosaurus size of clade Sauropodomorpha was about 72 ft (22 m) in length and the Brontosaurus height was 80.3 ft (24.5 m) tall with its neck reaching up to 19.2 ft (15 m). The largest herbivore dinosaur the Titanosaur (Argentinosaurus huinculensis) was about 118 ft (36 m) in length.

How fast could a Brontosaurus move?

Being of massive size, it was expected that these dinosaurs might have had a slow speed of moving. But to our surprise, they had a speed of 12.42-18.64 mph (20-30 kph). The average speed at which Sauropods walked was 4.47 mph (7.19 kph).

How much did a Brontosaurus weigh?

The weight of this giant animal of the Jurassic age was 17 tons (15,422 kg). They were even much heavier than one of the heaviest animals on earth, the African bush elephant.

What were the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and the female dinosaurs of this species.

What would you call a baby Brontosaurus?

A baby Brontosaurus dinosaur does not have any particular name. They were called baby Brontosaurus. A female Brontosaurus used to lay eggs.

What did they eat?

These dinosaurs were herbivores and used to eat leaves of forests and marshy areas. Because of their very long necks, they could even eat leaves off trees which were very high. They might have eaten vegetable leaves, grasses, shrubs, leaves, herbs, and flowers.

How aggressive were they?

The Brontosaurus was not at all an aggressive dinosaur even though it was huge. They were not suitable for a combat role but could cause grave damage to the opponent by using their long tail and heavyweight. The tail swipe used to be their primary attack for the medium-length dinosaur opponent which could be fatal. Otherwise, their giant size was enough to harm, they could cause a lot of damage just by stepping on things. Their tails looked very thin and lean but caused more harm than stomping.

Did you know...

They hatched from eggs that were around 1 ft (30.48 cm) long.

For a long time, the Brontosaurus skeleton had the skull of Camarasaurus.

History Of The Brontosaurus

The name Brontosaurus means 'thunder lizard' and it is a dinosaur with a very distinct and interesting backstory. At first, the paleontologist Dr. O. C. Marsh discovered a fossil of a short-legged dinosaur and named it Apatosaurus. But after some time, he discovered the fossil of a much bigger dinosaur and named it Brontosaurus because it was massive. With further study, the scientists found out that the skeleton of shortlegged Apatosaurus was actually the skeleton of Brontosaurus. They were short legs because the bones of the Brontosaurus kept growing. So the scientists decided to rename the Brontosaurus as the Apatosaurus because the latter came first.

Brachiosaurus vs. Brontosaurus

The two genera of sauropods, Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus, lived during the late Jurassic period to Early Cretaceous period and mid-late Jurassic periods but the Brontosaurus is one of the best-known dinosaurs. The main difference was about the appearance of Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus. The Brontosaurus was an elephant-like dinosaur while the Brachiosaurus was a giraffe-like dinosaur. The Brachiosaurus was known for their exceptional tallness while the Brontosaurus was known for their longness. The Brontosaurus was shorter than the Brachiosaurus by 20 ft (6.09 m). There were limb differences as well because the Brontosaurus had shorter forelimbs than hind limbs. The Brachiosaurus had long forelimbs. The Brontosaurus specimen is still in the Great Hall of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly dinosaur facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other dinosaurs from our Serikornis facts and Stygimoloch facts pages.

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

Brontosaurus Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Plants, Gingko, and Horsetails

what Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


What Did They Look Like?

Dark brownish

How Much Did They Weigh?

17 tons (15,422 kg)

Skin Type

Hard skin

How Long Were They?

72 ft (22 m)

How Tall Were They?

80.3 ft (24.5 m)









Scientific Name

Brontosaurus excelsus

What Were Their Main Threats?

Natural disasters

What Habitat Did They Live In?


Where Did They Live?

North America
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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Nidhi Sahai picture

Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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