WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Paleontologists are restoring the good name of Brontosaurus more than a century after it was deemed scientifically invalid and the famous dinosaur was reclassified as another genus called Apatosaurus. They unveiled on Tuesday an exhaustive analysis of Brontosaurus remains, first unearthed in the 1870s, and those of closely related dinosaurs, determining that [...]

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Scientists restore the good name of Brontosaurus

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Paleontologists are restoring the good name of Brontosaurus more than a century after it was deemed scientifically invalid and the famous dinosaur was reclassified as another genus called Apatosaurus.

They unveiled on Tuesday an exhaustive analysis of Brontosaurus remains, first unearthed in the 1870s, and those of closely related dinosaurs, determining that the immense, long-necked plant-eater was not an Apatosaurus and deserved its old name back.

“The differences between Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus are numerous enough to revive Brontosaurus as a separate genus from Apatosaurus,” Tschopp said.

Brontosaurus, which lived in North America around 150 million years ago in the Jurassic Period, was about 72 feet (22 meters) long and weighed about 40 tons.

“Brontosaurus and T. rex are the two most popular dinosaur names ever,” said Universidade Nova de Lisboa paleontologist Oct├ívio Mateus. “Even 112 years after paleontologists considered it invalid, the name Brontosaurus still echoes in the popular culture. It was indeed a very cool dinosaur name.”

“This will be like recovering Pluto as a planet again,” Mateus added, referring to astronomers’ 2006 decision to downgrade Pluto from a full-fledged planet to a dwarf planet.

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