The Brontosaurus is the Rodney Dangerfield of the dinosaur kingdom after getting officially kicked to the curb in the late '70s in favor of the more correct Apatosaurus title. But paleontologists are now giving this gentle giant of the Jurassic world the respect he deserves and reversing their decision after conflicting information revealed that the two dinos are actually different species.
While digitally scanning hundreds of long-necked sauropod bones for a comprehensive new "digital library," a team of vertebrate paleontologists at the New University of Lisbon in Portugal discovered subtle morphological differences in the neck bones between Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus in comparing 81 available specimens and skeletons in the U.S. and Europe. Apatosaurus evolved with shorter, wider neck bones, while Brontosaurus displayed a thinner neck structure rising higher.
Having a detailed, pixel-correct 3D reference library of dinosaur bones will be an amazing tool for paleontologists around the world, allowing them to cross-reference, organize and identify a far great percentage of the globe's excavated fossils. Paleontologists are now calling for the technical reinstatement of the Brontosaurus based on their five-year study's findings, making it perfectly fine to be a Brontosaurus next time you're out playing Primeval Planet in the backyard.
Are you glad the thunder lizard is making his triumphant comeback, or is the issue extinct?
(Via Gamma Squad)