In DepthPaleontology

Bully for Brontosaurus!

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Science  10 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6231, pp. 168
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6231.168

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For generations the name Brontosaurus has been taboo. Even lay dino aficionados and many 8-year-olds have taken pride in knowing that the correct scientific name for the iconic beast was Apatosaurus. But now a dinosaur-sized study of the dinosaur family tree has resurrected Brontosaurus. By studying 81 skeletons and 477 skeletal features or characters, paleontologists conclude that the fossils originally called Brontosaurus show enough skeletal differences from other specimens of Apatosaurus that they rightfully belong to a different genus. The study, published online this week in the open-access journal PeerJ, brings the long-banished name back into scientific respectability as a genus coequal with Apatosaurus.