“Heavy lizard”
Late Jurassic, 152-150 million years ago

Although its neck was longer and its tail was shorter, Barosaurus was roughly the same size as its close relative Diplodocus. It was dubbed “Heavy lizard” because at 85 feet long and 20 tons, this powerful plant-eater still couldn’t escape reductive ideals of beauty.

…Apatosaurus was heavier.


Allosaurus VS Barosaurus with baby in the AMNH.
This scene have been recreated and illustrated many times, like this one from John Gurche.
Photos by me.

Un Allosaurus contra un Barosaurus y su cría en el AMNH.
Esta escena ha sido recreada e ilustrada muchas veces, como la de acá por John Gurche.
Fotos mías.


I found one of the many books on dinosaurs I read all the time as a young kid, and came across a lot of Luis Rey paintings. I really love Rey’s artwork, and since I can’t seem to find any of these online I decided to put them up here for all you lovely people to enjoy.


The Case Of The Stand In Skull

Few dinosaurs are ever found complete. To fill in the missing pieces palaeontologists need to look at similar dinosaurs and extrapolate size and look. For example, the Barosaurus we have on display is about half real and half reproduction. The skull is actually a near replica of a Diplodocus, a close relative. In this case, the skull of Barosaurus has never been found so a stand in is needed.

More on dinosaurs!

Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: June 26th, 2014

The heavy lizard, Barosaurus (1890)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Saurischia
Suborder : Sauropodomorpha
Family : Diplodocidae
Subfamily : Diplodocinae
Genus : Barosaurus
Species : B. lentus

  • Late Jurassic (157,3 - 145 Ma)
  • 26 m long and 20 000 kg (size)
  • Morrison formation, United States (map)

A close relative of Diplodocus, Barosaurus is virtually indistinguishable from its harder-to-pronounce cousin, save for its 30-foot-long neck (one of the longest of any dinosaur, save Mamenchisaurus). Like other sauropods of the late Jurassic period, Barosaurus wasn’t the brainiest dinosaur that ever lived–its head was unusually small for its massive body–and it probably spent its entire life foraging the tops of trees, protected from predators by its sheer bulk.

The sheer length of Barosaurus’ neck raises some interesting questions. If this dinosaur reared up to its full height, it would have been as tall as a five-story building–which would have placed enormous demands on its heart and overall physiology. Evolutionary biologists have calculated that the ticker of a such a long-necked sauropod would have had to weigh a whopping 1.5 tons, which has prompted speculation about alternate body plans (say, additional, “subsidiary” hearts lining this dinosaur’s neck, or a posture in which Barosaurus held its neck parallel to the ground, like the hose of a vacuum cleaner).

The structure of the cervical vertebrae of Barosaurus allowed for a significant degree of lateral flexibility in the neck, but restricted vertical flexibility. This suggests a different feeding style for this genus when compared to other diplodocids. Barosaurus swept its neck in long arcs at ground level when feeding, which resembled the strategy that was first proposed by John Martin in 1987. The restriction in vertical flexibility suggests that Barosaurus could not feed on vegetation that was high off the ground.