Apatosaurus Facts for Kids

A Picture of Apatosaurus Ajax
  • Species Type: Apatosaurus ajax
  • Type of Dinosaur: Sauropod
  • Period: Late Jurassic
  • Diet: Foliage (herbivorous)
  • Life Span: 100+ years (estimated)
  • Length: Between 69 and 75 feet (average)
  • Weight: Between 18 and 25 tons (average)

22 Apatosaurus Facts for Kids

  1. The Apatosaurus was a very large dinosaur, with a long neck and a whip-like tail.
  2. Othniel Charles Marsh first described the Apatosaurus in 1877 and gave it the scientific name Apatosaurus ajax.
  3. There are two recognized species of Apatosaurus, the Apatosaurus ajax (type species) and the Apatosaurus louisae.
  4. The name Apatosaurus means: “Deceptive Lizard”.
  5. The name Apatosaurus is pronounced: “ah-PAT-uh-SAWR-us”.
  6. The Apatosaurus was part of a group of dinosaurs known as sauropods.
  7. The Apatosaurus is a member of the Diplodocid family.
  8. They lived in the Late Jurassic Period between 151 and 152 million years ago.
  9. The average length of an Apatosaurus is estimated to be between 69 and 75 feet.
  10. The average weight of an Apatosaurus is estimated to be between 18 and 25 tons.
  11. The estimated lifespan of an Apatosaurus is believed to be around 100 years.
  12. The Apatosaurus lived in North America.
  13. Apatosaurus fossils have been found in Morrison Formation in Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
  14. Apatosaurus is the second most common sauropod dinosaurs found in the Morrison Formation.
  15. The Apatosaurus was a high browsing herbivore and ate foliage at the top of tree canopies.
  16. Paleontologists believe the Apatosaurus had to eat about 800 pounds of food a day to meet their energy demands.
  17. It’s believe the Apatosaurus would sometimes swallow food whole and have to swallow rocks to aid their digestion.
  18. The Apatosaurus was quadrupedal, meaning it walked on four legs.
  19. Apatosaurus were rapid growers and could achieve full adult size in as little as 10 years.
  20. Paleontologists estimate the egg of an Apatosaurus was around 12 inches wide.
  21. An adult Apatosaurus probably didn’t have to worry about predators due to its large size. Only a group of large apex predators, like an Allosaurs hunting group, could attempt to takedown a full-grown Apatosaurus.
  22. In 1997, two paleontologists published a research report stating the Apatosaurus tail would have resembled a bullwhip. They theorized an Apatosaurus could whip its tail and create a whip like cracking sound that could surpass 200 decibels. That is comparable to the decibels produced when a cannon is fired.

Additional Resources on Apatosaurus