These 30-ton Apatosaurus are giant fortresses of flesh. However, they are too large to attack, even by fully grown Allosaurus.
— Allen, describing Apatosaurus

Apatosaurus (name meaning "Deceptive Lizard"), originally called Brontosaurus (name meaning "Thunder Lizard"), is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur that originated during the Late Jurassic period in what is now North America. Arguably the best-known and most famous sauropod dinosaur, Apatosaurus was a bulky herbivore; a "giant fortress of flesh" that measured over 22 meters long and weighed 30 tons. As such, they were hunted by creatures, such as Allosaurus and other predators.

In the episode "Time of Giants Part II: Ballad of Big Al", a number of five Apatosaurus were brought back to the park. They currently reside with their fellow sauropod relatives in Sauropod Savannah.


Era & DiscoveryEdit

Apatosaurus lived in western North America during the Late Jurassic period from 155–145 million years ago. It shared the environment with other herbivores, including other sauropods such as Brachiosaurus as well as other prehistoric creatures like Dryosaurus, Stegosaurus, Anurognathus, and Allosaurus.

They were first discovered and named by Othniel Marsh in 1877 because the chevron bones were similar to those of a prehistoric marine lizard, Tylosaurus. When they were discovered, they were originally named Brontosaurus. But that was eventually changed to Apatosaurus. Since its discovery, Apatosaurus has become among the most well-known dinosaurs in the world and perhaps the most famous sauropod.

Physical AttributesEdit


Apatosaurus was one of the largest sauropods of the Jurassic and as well as one of the largest dinosaurs to have ever existed. They grew to a staggering 15–20 feet (4.8–6 m) tall at the hips, measured 70–75 feet (21–22 m) in length and weighed up to 30 tons (60,000 lbs.), more than 12 times heavier than an elephant.

Apatosaurus was prey for most predators, described as "giant fortresses of flesh", but was also too large for any predator to attack, even the largest fully grown Allosaurus. Only the young, injured, sick or old were at risk of predation. However, a healthy old individual could be virtually untouchable beyond a certain age, for sheer size alone. Allosaurus by itself or even a pack could stand little chance of taking on a fully grown and mature Apatosaurus, hence why they would likely target smaller, weaker and generally more vulnerable animals.

Apatosaurus was heavy, with a long muscular neck and elephant-like legs. Like their close relatives Diplodocus, Apatosaurus had a long whiplike tail that may have been used as a defense against large predators such as Allosaurus. It also had a sharp claw on each thumb that may have deterred attackers when it reared up on its hind legs to defend itself or reach for higher vegetation. 

Capabilities and WeaponryEdit

  • Long neck: As a sauropod, Apatosaurus possessed a long neck that allowed it to strike at carnivores. 
  • Long tail: Like all sauropods, Apatosaurus possessed a long tail that enabled it to whip and strike at carnivores. 
  • Rearing Up: Apatosaurus is able to rear up on its back legs and could have potentially used its massive legs to fight carnivores. 
  • Weight: Due to its giant size, Apatosaurus could use its massive weight to crush carnivores. 

Behavior & TraitsEdit

Like all sauropods and other kinds of herbivorous dinosaurs, Apatosaurus were dinosaurs that traveled in herds and probably migrated looking for food throughout the year from area to area. Herds of adults and sub-adults would collectively have weighed hundreds of tonnes, all moving together.

These dinosaurs had to eat a lot of food to keep their massive bodies going. They had to have an enormously long gut to digest all the plant material that it ate. Like other sauropods, Apatosaurus also swallowed plant matter whole and ground it up with a gizzard, much as birds do today to grind up their food. They did this because they had very weak chewing teeth but had perfect nipping incisors to pull vegetation.

Prehistoric Earth A Natural History Edit

Season 2 Edit

In the episode "Time of the Titans", Allen brings the herd of Apatosaurus into the Sauropod Savannah.

Journal Entry Edit

Perhaps the most famous sauropod dinosaur, Apatosaurus ("Deceptive Lizard"), formerly known as Brontosaurus ("Thunder Lizard"), is a large sauropod with a long neck and correspondingly sized tail for balance. Like other members of the Sauropod family, the Apatosaurus’s head is tiny compared to its huge body.

Described as the Elephant of the Jurassic, Apatosaurus was a giant fortress of flesh. However, they were too large even for a fully-grown Allosaurus to attack. This herbivorous dinosaur was also a her-living animal.

— Allen, in his journal, about Apatosaurus



  • The sound effects of Apatosaurus are altered elephant trumpets, lion roars, water buffalo bellows, camel bellows, and whale bellows.
  • Apatosaurus belongs to the Diplodocidae Sauropods, obviously making it a relative of Diplodocus.
  • While it may not be the largest, Apatosaurus was is perhaps the most famous sauropod dinosaur brought to the park.
  • When people hear the word "dinosaur", many think of the long-necked Sauropods. The most famous of these was called "Brontosaurus", but it was discovered that brontosaurus fossils were the same as those of a previously named dinosaur: Apatosaurus
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