A restoration of Brachiosaurus

Brachiosaurus is a sauropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Period. It lived in North America.


Despite what most people believe, relatively little is actually known about Brachiosaurus. This is because a genus of African brachiosaur, Giraffatitan, was originally thought to be Brachiosaurus.[1] Giraffatitan is much more complete than Brachiosaurus, and so much of the information older books have on the North American sauropod is actually unsubstantiated.

Brachiosaurus was large and had a long neck, like all sauropods. Unlike other groups of sauropod, the front limbs were larger than the hind limbs. This means the spine of Brachiosaurus sloped upward.

Contrary to popular belief, the nostrils of Brachiosaurus and other sauropods were not located on its forehead.[2]


Brachio humerus

The humerus of Brachiosaurus, in comparison to a human

Brachiosaurus was first discovered as a partial skeleton in the Morrison Formation in 1900, by Elmer S. Riggs and his crew. At the time, it was the largest known dinosaur.[3]

Since then, few bones have been uncovered, and those that do appear are very fragmentary.


Brachiosaurus is believed to have fed on foliage at the tops of trees, high above the ground.

In popular cultureEdit

Brachiosaurus has been featured in several movies and television programs, namely Jurassic Park and Walking with Dinosaurs.


  1. Taylor, M.P. (2009). "A re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1903 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janensh 1914)." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29(3): 787-806.
  2. Witmer, L.M. (2001). "Nostril position in dinosaurs and other vertebrates and its significance for nasal function". Science 293 (5531): 850–853. doi:10.1126/science.1062681. PMID 11486085.
  3. Riggs, E.S. (1903). "Brachiosaurus altithorax, the largest known dinosaur." American Journal of Science (series 4) 15(88): 299-306.