Temporal range: Jurassic - Cretaceous
|Mounted skeleton of Giraffatitan in Berlin.|
Brachiosauridae are a family of sauropod dinosaurs, whose members are known as brachiosaurids. They were herbivorous quadrupeds with longer forelegs than hind legs. As a result, there is also some dispute about which animals belong within this family.
Brachiosaurids first evolved in the Middle Jurassic period, and died out at the end of the Early Cretaceous period, existing for about 60 million years. The earliest known brachiosaurid is Lapparentosaurus from the Middle Jurassic of Africa. The giant Sauroposeidon from North America was one of the last brachiosaurids, existing just before the end of the Early Cretaceous period.
The name "brachiosaurid" means "arm lizard", which may sound like a strange name for a four-legged animal. The family Brachiosauridae was given this name because the dinosaurs in it tended to have longer "arms" (front legs) than back legs.
In Popular Culture[change | edit source]
Brachiosaurids have been featured in many works of popular culture, particularly the type genus, Brachiosaurus. Brachiosaurus was featured in the 1993 film Jurassic Park, as well as the 2000 Disney film Dinosaur. The brachiosaurid Astrodon is the state dinosaur of Maryland. It was featured in paleontologist Robert T. Bakker's novel Raptor Red, where it was portrayed as a prey item of the dromaeosaurid Utahraptor.