Apatosaurus Bone - Classic Riker Display Case Fragment
Apatosaurus Bone - Classic Riker Display Case Fragment
With a massive neck to reach the trees and a huge body to roam the land, the Apatosaurus was an incredible dinosaur. This creature lived 150,000,000 years ago during the Jurassic Period and has become one of the most iconic dinosaurs of all time.
This specimen is a fossil bone fragment of the Apatosaurus, recovered from private land in the Morrison Formation. The specimen comes in a handsome, glass-topped display box along with an informational authenticity card.
A Huge Sauropod Dinosaur
Stomping across the Jurassic floodplains, the Apatosaurus was a massive sauropod dinosaur over 75 feet long and weighing more than 20 tons. With its long neck and whip-like tail, it was a tremendous sight that towered over the smaller dinosaurs of its day.
The Apatosaurus is especially unique in paleontology due to its history of discovery. Originally, the dinosaur was mistakenly mounted with other sauropod skulls. It wasn't until nearly 30 years after the first discovery that an Apatosaurus skull was found and identified.
The Apatosaurus had the typical body plan of a sauropod, with an extremely long neck for foraging at the tops of trees and a long tail for balance. However, their necks were also quite thicker than other sauropod groups. It's thought they may have swung them against each other in dominance battles, much like modern giraffes.
This specimen is a fossil bone fragment from the Apatosaurus recovered on private land in the Morrison Formation in Utah. This geologic formation is 150,000,000 years old and one of the best studied deposits of Jurassic material.
Each Apatosaurus bone is hand prepared by our specimen technician team and measures between 1" and 1.5" in size. Specimens are shipped in a classic, glass-topped riker display case that measures 4"x3"x1". A small information card that serves as certificate of authenticity is also enclosed.
MORE ABOUT APATOSAURUS
📸 A chunk of Apatosaurus bone
A Walking Titan
First described in 1879, Apatosaurus is one of the best-known of all sauropods. In the public mind, this popularity is due to early confusion that led to the skulls of other sauropods being mounted on their skeletons under the name of Brontosaurus. Currently the Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus genera are taken to constitute the Apatosaurinae, a subfamily of Diplodocid sauropods. Apatosaurus includes at least two recognized species: Apatosaurus louisae, which may have reached 23m long (75ft) and 20 or more tons, and Apatosaurus ajax, a giant on the order of 36 to 80 tons.
📸 Apatosaurus at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh
The question of Brontosaurus
The confusion between Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus stems from an incorrect reconstruction by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1883. Marsh had found two sauropod remains, one small (dubbed Apatosaurus) and one large (dubbed Brontosaurus), but neither had a complete skull. Years later, when Marsh attempted a reconstruction of the latter, he incorrectly mounted a stubbier Camarasaurus skull onto the assemblage, unlike the longer skulls known to other diplodocids, further confusing matters. Later research revealed that Marsh's Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus were not distinct genera, but a younger and older specimen of the same group.
Conventions of scientific naming dictate that the original name should be kept while the subsequent is abandoned, but because of Marsh’s Camarasaurus reconstruction, the latter name was better known and it stuck. Brontosaurus was used incorrectly by the public to refer to Apatosaurus, while the actual Brontosaurus genus was believed to be dubious. The genus remains a point of controversy — research in 2015 suggested that Brontosaurus is a valid genus, closely related to Apatosaurus, but this is not entirely accepted by the paleontological community.
Apatosaurus showed the typical diplodocid design of a long neck, a very long and whip-tapered tail, and a small, low-set head with peg-like teeth. The apatosaurinids were more heavily built sauropods than the related North American diplodocids Diplodocus and Barosaurus, with a substantially thicker neck that may have been adapted for wielding in dominance battles with their own kind, rather like the bull giraffes of today.
Contemporaneous sauropods appear to have coexisted by pursuing different modes of browsing. A 2018 analysis assessing Apatosaurus and Diplodocus specimens from the Morrison Formation in Colorado concluded that the former had higher tooth-replacement rates than the latter, suggesting Apatosaurus may have fed more heavily on tougher plant life than Diplodocus, such as conifers and cycads.
The specimen is a fragment of Apatosaurus bone, recovered on private land from the Morrison Formation in Utah. One of the most studied fossil beds of the upper Jurassic Period, the region was once home to a large floodplain ecosystem 150,000,000 years ago. It was here that Othniel Charles Marsh made his discovery of Apatosaurus and the questionable Brontosaurus, the source of one of the great enduring controversies in paleontology.
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
DeCourten, Frank. Dinosaurs of Utah / Frank DeCourten. Second edition., The University of Utah Press, 2013.
Dumont, Maitena, et al. "Long bone cortices in a growth series of Apatosaurus sp.(Dinosauria: Diplodocidae): geometry, body mass, and crystallite orientation of giant animals." Biological journal of the Linnean Society 112.4 (2014): 782-798.
McHugh, Julia B. "Evidence for niche partitioning among ground-height browsing sauropods from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of North America." Geology of the Intermountain West 5 (2018): 95-103.
Taylor, Michael P., et al. “Were the Necks of Apatosaurus & Brontosaurus Adapted for Combat?” PeerJ Preprints, 3:e1347v1, 2015.
Wedel, Matt. “A Giant, Skeletally Immature Individual of Apatosaurus From the Morrison Formation of Oklahoma.” 61st Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy - Programme and Abstracts, 2013, pp. 40–45.
Weishampel, David B., et al. (eds). The Dinosauria – Second Edition. University of California Press, 2004.