Barosaurus

The genus Barosaurus contains the species that lived in North America during the Jurassic Period, approximately 150 million years ago.

The genus Barosaurus has been included in the Saurischian dinosaurs sauropods diplodocci, so it shares family with other better known representatives.

We are referring to the well-known Diplodocus, although it shared time and ecosystem with predatory theropods such as Allosaurus.

The approximate height given to this sauropod is 5 meters, whereas the length of the Barosaurus exceeded 20 meters. Some of the approximate data indicate that it almost reached 24 meters.

Do you want to learn more about this fascinating dinosaur? Then be sure to read this article for a comprehensive and detailed information about the Barosaurus.

Barosaurus Taxonomy

  • The kingdom of the Barosaurus was Animalia.
  • The phylum it belonged to was Chordata.
  • The class in which it was classified is Sauropsida.
  • Saurischia is the order this animal belonged to.
  • The suborder where Barosaurus was classified is Sauropodomorpha.
  • Barosaurus belonged to the sub-order Sauropoda.
  • The superfamily of this dinosaur was Diplodocoidea.
  • The family to which the Barosaurus belonged was Diplodocidae.
  • This dinosaur was classified within the subfamily Diplodocinae.
  • The genus we refer to is Barosaurus.
  • The species that represented this genus is B. lentus.


We must clarify at this point that the fact that only one species was found within the genus Barosaurus does not mean that it was not represented by more than one.

The discovery of new fossil remains could change the number of species representing the genus, so we will do our best to keep this information updated.

The discovery of the Barosaurus

In the history of the search for dinosaur fossils, there was a time that we have already talked about, the famous War of the Bones, and precisely this dinosaur was found during that period, so it is not the exception.

The researcher Othniel Charles Marsh, who discovered it during those years, was also in charge of giving it its name, precisely before reaching the 20th century, in 1980.

The name of this dinosaur comes from Latin and literally means “heavy lizard”, making a clear reference to its large dimensions.

After a couple of decades, many more vestiges of this extinct and enormous specimen were found, precisely in a territory we know today as the South Dakota area.
On the other hand, it is known that the remains of the Barosaurus were fortunate to be found by competent scientists and because of that they were studied with much more expertise.

These remains to which we are making reference were found in the Morrison Formation, in which were also located those of other large animals such as the Apatosaurus.

Characteristics of this enormous dinosaur

It was a large animal, whose neck was long enough to have the necessary flexibility when fighting or running away.

It was also characterized by having a thin tail that would have the same function mentioned above, and therefore we are faced with key data to explain the survival of this specimen in the environment in which it lived.

The resemblance of this animal to another extinct dinosaur called Diplodocus is also worth analyzing and studying, because there are many characteristics that both share.

Despite this, the differences must be clearly highlighted, in order to know that it was not really the same animal.

Among these differences it is necessary to highlight the enormous spines that the latter (Diplodocus) possessed, which were much more elongated, as was the neck, since it was much more extensive than the neck of the dinosaur that is the subject of this text.

Regarding the neck of the Barosaurus, it is explained and exposed in several scientific studies that it had the great capacity to mobilize its neck in a quite agile and fast way towards the heights, as the famous giraffes of the present time do, we can see this in any documentary.

That is why a great doubt was born at that time which left the scientists unsatisfied while it was not resolved, the doubt had to do with the way in which the blood arrived from the heart to the brain of the extinct animal.

Much was elucidated and debated on the subject until it was concluded that the heart must have been large enough and powerful enough to be able to do so, it must have weighed approximately more than a ton and a half.

Soon after that conclusion was going to start losing ground, because there was a debate about the fact that the bigger the heart, the slower the heartbeat, so the blood was not going to reach its final destination anyway: the brain’s irrigation.

Therefore, a new theory emerged that would possibly explain how this animal’s organism really was; this theory had a lot to do with the fact that this extinct specimen had more than one heart, in fact it is believed that it had 8.

This might make more sense, since it is said that he had two hearts in the chest cavity and six more right in the neck, so that the brain became quite irrigated, without any problems.

However, even today all these data only reach the category of theories, therefore they can only be taken as true in relation to the appearance of new data indicating other different information.

Other data on the Barosaurus

As we have mentioned, the Barosaurus was found in a period characterized by the discovery of continuous fossil remains.

During that time new theories emerged that at the moment have no major scientific basis, such as the famous “arterial sphincters”.

This theory also tried to explain how the Barosaurus’ brain was kept adequately oxygenated and nourished.

However, a fairly logical and simple solution for the irrigation of the brain was for the Barosaurus to simply keep its neck in an almost horizontal position so that the blood flows very quickly.

If we continue to analyze the neck, it has been discovered that the bones of this part of the animal’s body, which are known or identified as cervical vertebrae, were very extensive, could measure almost 1 meter in length, and for that very reason they were not abundant, although they were enormous.

Several holes were also found in that area of the body and it was concluded that those depressions actually served to make the animal much less heavy than it would be if those holes didn’t exist, so it gives the appearance of a larger body.

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