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Brontosaurus(meaning “Thunder Lizard”) is a genus of ¬†Diplodocidae dinosaur that lived in what is now the western area of the United States during the Late Jurassic period. The type species, B. excelsus, was described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1879. In 1902, Peterson and Gilmore named a new genus of dinosaur Elosaurus, with the species being parvus. In 1994, Filla and Redman named a new Apatosaurus species named A. yahnahpin. A. yahnahpin was later changed into its own species in 1998 by Bakker, calling it Eobrontosaurus. B. excelsus and E. parvus were then considered to be the same species and not a Brontosaurus at all, but an Apatosaurus, which was named A. excelsus. Elosaurus and Brontosaurus became a species of the Apatosaurus in 1903 by Elmer Riggs. It was considered that way until 2015, when a British-Portuguese research team decided that Apatosaurus ajax and A. louisae were different enough from A. excelsus for the lattermost to be considered its own genus. They decided that E. parvus and B. excelsus were different enough to be separate species, but not separate genera. The Eobrontosaurus yahnahpin was also reassigned to Brontosaurus. So now the type species of Brontosaurus is B. excelsus and the referred species are B. parvus and B. yahnahpin. ¬†While most scientists now consider Brontosaurus a valid genus, some still believe that they belong to A. excelsus.

by Davide Bonadonna

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