Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Geological Time The Story Of A Changing Earth
Fossil Evidence
Evidence Image
Common Name:

Scientific Name:
Camarasaurus lentus

Time Period:
200-146 mya

Age range:
Late Jurassic, 145 mya

Key Localities:

Skeleton of Camarasaurus, a medium-sized Late Jurassic sauropod dinosaur. Even though this individual is was about 8 m long (over 25 ft.), it was actually still a juvenile and would have grown to twice that size as an adult. Our specimen is shown in what is called a “death pose.” That means that this skeleton is in the same position as when the animal died. The position of the head is the result of the strong neck tendons drying out and shrinking, causing the head to arch back over its body. In the skull photo, you can see the blunt teeth that this herbivore used to crop vegetation. Photos by Mike Brett-Surman, NMNH.


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