Apatosaurus Facts for Kids: An Exciting Journey to the Dinosaur Era

Let’s take a fascinating journey back in time, where we’ll meet one of the most magnificent creatures that ever roamed our planet – the Apatosaurus. Often confused with the Brontosaurus, the Apatosaurus was an enormous dinosaur that lived millions of years ago. Get ready to explore some exciting facts about this incredible creature!

What is an Apatosaurus?

The Apatosaurus, also known as the “deceptive lizard”, was a type of dinosaur called a sauropod. These dinosaurs were gigantic, long-necked, and long-tailed herbivores. They had small heads relative to their body size and walked on all fours.

How Big was an Apatosaurus?

The size of an Apatosaurus was truly awe-inspiring. On average, they measured up to 75 feet (23 meters) long, which is about the length of two school buses! Their weight was equally impressive, tipping the scales at around 20-30 tons. To put it into perspective, that’s as heavy as four elephants combined!

Apatosaurus Teeth and Diet

Despite their massive size, the teeth of the Apatosaurus were quite small and peg-like, perfect for stripping leaves off branches but not for chewing. So, what did the Apatosaurus eat? Like other sauropods, they were herbivores, meaning they only ate plants. Their diet primarily consisted of ferns and coniferous trees.

Apatosaurus vs. Brachiosaurus

When comparing the Apatosaurus with the Brachiosaurus, another well-known sauropod, there are some significant differences. While both were massive and herbivorous, the Brachiosaurus was taller, reaching up to 85 feet (26 meters) in height, while the Apatosaurus was longer.

Apatosaurus vs. Brontosaurus

The Apatosaurus and the Brontosaurus have a shared history of confusion. For many years, they were thought to be the same dinosaur until scientists realized that they were indeed two separate species. The primary difference between them lies in their neck and skull structure. The Brontosaurus had a thicker neck and a slightly different skull shape compared to the Apatosaurus.

Where did the Apatosaurus Live?

The Apatosaurus fossils have been found mainly in the Morrison Formation, a geological area spanning several states in the USA. This indicates that they lived in what is now North America during the late Jurassic period, around 150 million years ago.

Predators of the Apatosaurus

Despite its enormous size, the Apatosaurus was not without threats. Predators such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus posed a danger, especially to younger or weaker members of the herd. However, the sheer size of a fully grown Apatosaurus would have deterred most predators.

Fun Facts about the Apatosaurus

  • The name ‘Apatosaurus’ means ‘deceptive lizard’. It was given this name because some of its bones resembled those of other reptiles.
  • Even though the Apatosaurus was massive, its brain was only about the size of a human’s fist.
  • The Apatosaurus is one of the most frequently displayed dinosaurs in museums around the world.

How to Pronounce Apatosaurus?

The name ‘Apatosaurus’ can be a bit tricky to pronounce. It’s said as “uh-PAT-uh-SAWR-us”. Try saying it out loud a few times to get the hang of it!


The Apatosaurus was a truly remarkable dinosaur, from its enormous size to its fascinating history. By learning about these creatures, we gain valuable insights into our planet’s past and the incredible diversity of life that once existed. So, the next time you see an Apatosaurus picture or fossil, remember the exciting facts you’ve learned today!

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