"It didn't eat 'em. It's killing for sport."
Owen Grady after finding several Apatosaurus killed by the Indominus rex(src)

Apatosaurus is one of the most famous of the giant Jurassic plant-eaters. It was a sauropod, a member of a race of huge, long-necked dinosaurs. It was longer than two school buses and weighed as much as 4 adult male African elephants. For years, an Apatosaurus body stood with the head of Camarasaurus on the end of its neck. This was named Brontosaurus and was one of the most popular dinosaurs for many years. In 2015, the Brontosaurus genus was revived and several species of Apatosaurus were resigned to the Brontosaurus genus. [2]

Apatosaurus is a fairly typical member of the diplodocid family - long neck, pillar-like legs, long tapering tail and enormous size. It had, like the other family members, peg-like teeth in a head that seemed very small for such a large creature. Compared to Diplodocus, Apatosaurus has a shorter, thicker neck, and a larger, heavier body. There is much speculation about how much these creatures needed to eat and how such a small head could ingest enough food to fuel such a large body. Some scientists have stated that these huge, small-headed creatures would have needed to eat every waking moment in order to provide enough food to keep such a large body alive. Apatosaurus seemed to have every adaptation needed for continuous eating. Despite looking defenseless other than its huge size, the tail was like a giant bullwhip could probably make a loud cracking sound about 200 decibels, enough to scare or even deafen theropods such as Allosaurus.

In order to facilitate the processing of food, which it could not chew with its teeth. Apatosaurus probably swallowed stones that it kept in a gizzard similar to that found in a chicken. The tough plant fibers would spend time in the gizzard stewing and grinded up by the stones.[3]

The Apatosaurus reaches its full size in 10 years.[4]

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Apatosaurus



Apatosaurs near the riverbank with Stegosarus in the Cretaceous Cruise.

According to information from the Dinosaur Protection Group, Apatosaurus was originally planned to be an attraction for Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, over 57% of its genome was completed by 1993. Sadly, this was put on hold after the disastrous Isla Nublar incident. Apatosaurus was eventually recreated by InGen for the Masrani Global Corporation's Jurassic World, their new dinosaur zoo.[5] Apatosaurus has gray skin with dark blue striping and dark tan on its underbelly and portions of its face. Much like the cloned Brachiosaurus, it chewed its food unlike the original Apatosaurus, lacked the speculative spines that possibly went down the back, and had a lighter build to its body.[5]

Their herds lives in the Gallimimus Valley, the Gyrosphere, and the Cretaceous Cruise, alongside Stegosaurus, Microceratus, and 100 other prehistoric species. Some of the juveniles also lived in the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo.[5]

The Apatosaurus cloned for Jurassic World were approximately 6 meters (20 feet) tall and 27.4 meters (90 feet) long, which was larger than the originals.[6]

Isla Nublar Incident (2015)

An Indominus rex attacked six Apatosaurus during its rampage, killing five and fatally injuring one. Owen Grady and Claire Dearing found these sauropods and comforted the injured dinosaur, settling it down when it attempted to rise up, upon which it died peacefully. The death of such a harmless and docile creature caused Claire much sorrow, which was mixed with horror when they discovered the five dead ones. The discovery of these Apatosaurus made Owen realize that the Indominus was hunting for sport.[5]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Apatosaurus roaring in the cage room in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

It is revealed that there are surviving Apatosaurus populations on Isla Nublar, as they will now face an impending danger, alongside many other creatures, in the form of an erupting volcano.

They were seen running alongside many other species away from Mount Sibo. At least five Apatosaurus were captured to be sold off and were last seen escaping the Lockwood Manor alongside many other dinosaurs.


Promotional Images

Jurasic World

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


Apatosaurus from novel map

Jurassic Park

The Apatosaurus is the first dinosaur the endorsement team encounters in the first novel. After the visitors arrive at Isla Nublar they can see a herd of Apatosaurus down in the lagoon. Their vocalizations were like the trumpeting of an elephant.

The herd of Apatosaurus consists of 17 members. The herd lives in the lagoon, nicknamed Sauropod Swamp, side by side with Hadrosaurus and Maiasaura.

When Gerry Harding, Ellie Sattler, and Gennaro are driving through the lagoon to the settlement, a herd of Apatosaurus is standing on the road. Dr. Harding explains that smaller animals can be scared away with a recorded T. rex roar, but not Apatosaurus. He also says that Apatosaurus has a motion-based amphibian vision.[7]

Only 12 Apatosaurus are left at the end of the novel. The remaining are all killed in the napalm bombing along with the rest of the dinosaurs.

The Lost World

By the time of the events of The Lost World, the Apatosaurus also have regained the ability to reproduce. A herd of Apatosaurus lives in the river valley at the center of Isla Sorna.

The Apatosaurus herd lives in symbiosis with a herd of Parasaurolophus, which stays close to the Apatosaurus herd for protection. The Parasaurolophus have larger brains and therefore much better eyesight than the Apatosaurus, allowing them to spot predators much easier. According to Dr. Richard Levine, they use their large tails for defense, as shown when Sarah and Kelly are trying to catch the raptor that took the key to Arby's cage, and have long necks to balance out the long tails, leaning their head forward and therefore, do not need a large heart to pump blood to the head.

This kind of symbiosis between large and smaller herbivores did indeed existed in the dinosaur age. If this behavior was genetically determined it is understandable that this behavior evolved so rapidly on the island. However, Apatosaurus and Parasaurolophus originate from different periods.

Although, this behavior could be learned that if the Apatosaurus knew that if the Parasaurolophus made a certain call and carnivores come up, they would be able to place the two together.

Jurassic Park III: Park Builder

Apatosaurus is nr. 052 of the Herbivore Threes that can be created in Jurassic Park III: Park Builder.

Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis

Apatosaurus was planned to appear in the game Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.[8] For unknown reasons, the development of Apatosaurus was terminated.

Jurassic Park: Builder

Apatosaurus is mentioned in two evolution facts for its close relative Brontosaurus and an evolution fact for Camarasaurus in Jurassic Park: Builder. It is mentioned as being the senior synonym of Brontosaurus, which, although accurate at the time the game was released, is now known to no longer be true, as Brontosaurus is now considered to be its own genus.

Jurassic World: The Game

see Apatosaurus/JW: TG

Originally, only Apatosaurus skeleton and a statue of it could be purchased as decorations for the game, but after the June 29th 2016 update, it became a cloneable VIP dinosaur.

LEGO Jurassic World

Apatosaurus appears as one of the 20 dinosaurs that are featured in the game. It only appears physically in "Gyrosphere Vallay" where several are seen in the Gyrosphere attraction. It is also the sauropod skeleton seen in the Visitor Center in the Jurassic Park levels of the game.

The amber of Apatosaurus is found in the level "Commuications Center" and collecting the bone boxes of that level unlocks the skeleton skin for Apatosaurus. As a playable dinosaur, it can stomp on the ground to break objects like Brachiosaurus.

Jurassic World: Apatosaurus

Apatosaurus is the main focus of this virtual reality game.

LEGO Dimensions

Apatosaurus is found in the Jurassic World dimension found on the outskirts of the park. It reuses the same model from LEGO Jurassic World.

Jurassic World: Alive

see Apatosaurus/JW: A

Apatosaurus is featured in Jurassic World: Alive.

Jurassic World: Evolution

see Apatosaurus/JW: E

Apatosaurus appears as one of the creatable dinosaurs in Jurassic World: Evolution. Its' design is based on the Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom variants. However, there are a couple of differences, one being that the design is more heavily built than the Jurassic World and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom variants.

Content needed

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The Apatosaurus appears in the line based on the film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, as part of the line's Mini Dinos assortment. This is the first time it has ever physically appeared in any Jurassic Park toy set. A new, larger Apatosaurus figure is set to be release in 2021 for the Legacy Collection lineup.

Behind the scenes

The "Apatosaurus" skull from the Jurassic World website.

Apatosaurus was originally planned to be in the first Jurassic Park, most notably in the cut river raft scene in which a carcass of the sauropod was going to be feasted upon by the Tyrannosaurus before it would give chase to Alan Grant and the Murphy kids, but this scene was cut due to budgetary reasons.  

In the script for Jurassic Park, Apatosaurus is listed as one of the embryos that Dennis Nedry steals in scene 49.

Mamenchisaurus were absent from the Game Trail in the script for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with Apatosaurus taking its place. It does appear in the The Lost World: Jurassic Park Official Annual.

Apatosaurus is confirmed to be on Isla Sorna due to The Lost World Official Souvenir Magazine identifying the several skeletons spotted just outside of the Worker Village as belonging to an “Apatosaur”;

“Everywhere, the land is dotted with dinosaur skeletons. Some are huge apatosaurs, while others are smaller herbivores of many different species.” (The Lost World Souvenir Magazine, 42).


Apatosaurus appears in the Jurassic Park III Movie Storybook as the first dinosaur seen from the plane.

Apatosaurus was originally going to be one of the dinosaurs that can be created in the video game Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, but it was cut from the final product.


JURASSIC WORLD Building the Apatosaurus - Legacy Effects

Construction of the Apatosaurus animatronic used in Jurassic World.

The Apatosaurus skull that was seen on JurassicWorld.com does not belong to the dinosaur at all, rather it belongs to a brachiosaurid sauropod like Brachiosaurus. This has since been replaced by a diplodocid femur. Furthermore, its icon on the Jurassic World website and the Holoscape is of Brachiosaurus as well.

In the storyboard for Jurassic World Apatosaurus' relative Diplodocus was originally supposed to appear before Apatosaurus was chosen.[9]

There is concept art for Jurassic World that depicts an early design of the Indominus rex attacking a green skinned Apatosaurus,[10] suggesting that there was to be a scene that showed the Indominus' attack on the sauropod herd rather than this action taking place off-screen.

Concept art.

The boy that hugs the small Apatosaurus in Jurassic World is played by Bryce Dallas Howard's own son.[11]

The vocalizations of Apatosaurus in Jurassic World are reused from Brachiosaurus, while the one in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had original sound effects, likely due to the Brachiosaur's return.

The base form Apatosaurus in Jurassic World: The Game looks the exact same as the one in Jurassic World.


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named JW
  2. https://peerj.com/articles/857/
  3. Dinopedia on the JPI site
  4. JurassicWorld.com "Did You Know", see picture.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jurassic World
  6. ILM Fallen Kingdom Size Chart
  7. Jurassic Park (novel), page 201.
  8. Dinosaurs cut from Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.
  9. davelowerystoryboards - Jurassic World (July 31, 2015) Retrieved from http://dlstoryboards.blogspot.com/2015/07/jurassic-world_31.html
  10. ilm.com - Concept Art: Key Frames + Enviorments Gallery (March 14, 2016) Retrieved from http://www.ilm.com/concept_art/key-frames-environments/
  11. toofab.com - Bryce Dallas Howard Opens Up About Son's 'Jurassic World' Cameo, Chris Pratt and All the Talk About Her Heels (June 12, 2015) Retrieved from http://www.toofab.com/2015/06/11/bryce-dallas-howard-jurassic-world-chris-pratt-heels/#sthash.iuJdjj0I.dpuf


Jurassic World Dinosaurs
AnkylosaurusApatosaurusDimorphodonGallimimusIndominus rexMosasaurusPachycephalosaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonStegosaurusTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Dinosaurs
AllosaurusAnkylosaurusApatosaurusBaryonyxBrachiosaurusCarnotaurusCompsognathusGallimimusIndoraptorMosasaurusParasaurolophusPteranodonSinoceratopsStegosaurusStygimolochTriceratopsTyrannosaurus rexVelociraptor
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