Dinosaurs in Their Time

DinoGuide: Camarasaurus

adult skullCamarasaurus, the most complete skeleton of any sauropod dinosaur ever discovered, is displayed still partly encased in the sandstone in which it was found nearly a century ago.

During the Late Jurassic, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Diplodocus were the most common sauropod dinosaurs in the western United States. Dinosaurs in Their Time presents the complete skeletons of all three.

The skull of an adult Camarasaurus, as seen on display in Dinosaurs in Their Time, is quite small relative to overall body size. Striking differences between the skull and teeth of Camarasaurus and those of other contemporary sauropods such as Diplodocus indicate different feeding habits for these giant plant eaters. The thick, spoon-shaped teeth of Camarasaurus may have allowed it to feed on plant material that was much more coarse.

Also represented in Dinosaurs in Their Time is a young Camarasaurus. The animal had reached only about two-fifths the size of an adult Camarasaurus.

young CamarasaurusCARNEGIE SPECIMEN NUMBER:
Adult skull: CM 12020
Young skeleton: CM 11338

SCIENTIFIC NAME MEANING:
"Chambered reptile"

CLASSIFICATION:
Dinosauria : Saurischia : Sauropoda : Macronaria

LENGTH:
Up to 59 feet (17.9 meters)

GEOLOGICAL FORMATION & LOCALITY:
Morrison Formation; Dinosaur National Monument, Uintah County, Utah

COLLECTOR:
Earl Douglass and field crew, 1915–1916 (skull), 1919–1920 (skeleton)

TIME PERIOD:
Late Jurassic, 145–150 million years ago

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