Skip to main content

Redescription of Brachiosaurid Sauropod Dinosaur Material From the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, Colorado, USA Article uri icon


  • D'Emic, Michael D. and Carrano, Matthew T.


  • Like many long-standing dinosaur taxa, Brachiosaurus altithorax from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of North America suffers from taxonomic issues stemming from a relatively incomplete holotype. Lack of anatomical overlap has precluded definitive referral of important specimens, including a mostly complete skull discovered in 1883. We redescribe this skull and some other significant brachiosaurid specimens based on new preparation and computed tomographic (CT) data. We argue that these elements are most parsimoniously referred to B. altithorax. Including these tentatively referred elements in a phylogenetic analysis does not alter the hypothesized relationships of B. altithorax, congruent with the presence of a single brachiosaurid taxon across western North America in the Late Jurassic. Based on CT data, we estimate that B. altithorax had a slower tooth replacement rate than Camarasaurus or the diplodocoids it shared Morrison Formation landscapes with, which suggests a difference in diet and/or feeding strategy. Anat Rec, 2019. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

publication date

  • 2020