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Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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BRACHAUCHENIUS

Brachauchenius (meaning "short neck") was a plesiosaur that lived during the late Cretaceous period. This pliosauroid marine reptile was up to 36.5 feet (11 m) long; its broad, triangular, pointed skull was up to 5 feet (1.53 m) long. Brachauchenius was a meat-eater that ate fish and other swimming animals. It had sharp teeth, strong jaws, and a short neck. It lived in the open oceans and breathed air. Brachauchenius may have laid eggs in nest that it dug into the sand, much as modern-day sea turtles do. Plesiosaurs swam using their four paddle-like flippers in a manner similar to that of modern turtles. They might have been able to move a little bit on land, as modern seals do. Brachauchenius was named by Williston in 1903. The type secies is Brachauchenius lucasi.


BRACHIOPOD

Brachiopods (meaning "arm feet") are a phylum of animals also known as lamp shells (bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates that have two dissimilar protective shells held together with a hinge, and superficially look like mollusks). Brachiopods evolved during the Cambrian Period, roughly 570 million years ago. In the late Ordovician period mass extinction (about 438 million years ago), over half the Brachiopod species went extinct. There are about 260 living species of Brachiopods living worldwide.

BRACHIOSAURUS

(pronounced BRACK-ee-uh-SAWR-us) Brachiosaurus was a huge, quadrupedal, long-necked, whip-tailed, plant-eating dinosaur from the late Jurassic period.

BRACHYCERATOPS

(pronounced BRACK-i-SIR-a-tops) Brachyceratops ("short-horned face") was a ceratopsian dinosaur (a horned, scallop-frilled plant-eater with a crest) from the late Cretaceous period, 80-70 million years ago. It was about 6 feet (1.8 m) long and weighed roughly 140 kg. Fossils have been found in Montana, USA. It was named by C.W. Gilmore in 1914.

BRACHYLOPHOSAURUS

(pronounced BRACK-uh-LOF-o-SAWR-us) Brachylophosaurus ("short crested lizard") was a duck-billed dinosaur (a hadrosaurid) from the late Cretaceous period (75 million years ago) in Alberta, Canada and Montana, USA. It was about 22 feet (7 m) long and weighed roughly 2700 kg. It had a small, solid, spiked crest on its snout. It was named by paleontologist Charles M. Sternberg in 1953.

BRACHYPODOSAURUS

(pronounced brah-KIP-oh-do-SAWR-us) Brachypodosaurus ("short-legged lizard") was an ornithischian, either an ankylosaur (armored dinosaur) or a stegosaur (plated dinosaur). It dates from the late Cretaceous period, 88-73 million years ago. Only a fossilized leg bone (a humerus) was found in India. The type species is B. gravis. It was named by Chakravarti in 1934. It is a doubtful genus.


BRACHYROPHUS

(pronounced bra-KIHR-oh-fus) Brachyrophus ("short-roof lizard") was an ornithopod, a bipedal plant-eater. It dates from the late Jurassic period. Fossils were found in India. It was named by Cope in 1878 (type species B. altarkansanus). It is a doubtful genus and may be the same as Camptosaurus dispar.

BRADYCNEME

(pronounced BRAD-ick-NEE-mee) Bradycneme ("heavy or slow leg") was a theropod dinosaur (a bipedal meat-eater) from the late Cretaceous period, about 73-65 million years ago. It may be a Troodontid. Fossils were found in Romania in 1923. It was originally thought to be a giant owl. It was named by paleontolgists Harrison & C. A. Walker in 1975. The type species is B. draculae, but this genus is dubious and may actually be Elopteryx.


BRADYSAURUS

Bradysaurus was a late Permian pareiasaur (it was not a dinosaur, but a cotylosaurian reptile with many primitive characteristics, perhaps related to turtles). This anapsid herbivore (plant-eater) was about 8 feet (2.5 meters) long. It was quadrupedal (it walked on four legs) and had thin bony armor (scutes), a short tail, and claws on its stubby toes. Fossils have been found in the Karoo Basin of South Africa.


BRAINCASE

The braincase is the part of the bones of the skull that contains and protects the brain.
Branchiosaurus

BRANCHIOSAURUS

(pronounced BRANK-ee-oh-SAWR-us) Branchiosaurus (meaning "gill lizard") was a very early amphibian from early Carboniferous to the early Permian period (roughly 300 million years ago). It was NOT a dinosaur. Like all amphibians, they had to live near the water since amphibian eggs have no shells and must be laid in the water (or in very damp areas) or they will dry out and die. Fossils of these salamander-sized amphibian have been found in Europe. They were the closest relatives of the lissamphibians. Classification: Subclass Labyrinthodont, Order Temnospondyl, Genus Branchiosaurus, many species.
BRETT-SURMAN, MICHAEL
Michael K. Brett-Surman (1950- ) is an American paleontologist and author. Brett-Surman is the Museum Specialist for Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian Institution. He named the dinosaurs Secernosaurus (1979), Gilmorosaurus (1979), and Anatotitan. Brett-Surman grew up in Larchmont, New York. He was an undergraduate at the University of Boulder, Colorado, and went to graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University (while doing research at the Smithsonian Institute). Brett-Surman is the coeditor of The Complete Dinosaur (with James O. Farlow - Indiana University Press, 1997), coauthor of The World of Dinosaurs ( with Thomas Holtz, illus. by James Gurney - Greenwich Workshop Books, 1998), coauthor of the Dinosaur Field Guide (with Thomas Holtz - Random House, 2001), and has many other publications. Brett-Surman was also the senior consultant for both issues of dinosaur stamps by the US Post Office (for artists J. Gurche and J. Gurney).

BREVICERATOPS

(pronounced BREV-eh-SER-ah-tops) Breviceratops ("short-horned face") was a ceratopsian dinosaur (a frilled, quadrupedal plant-eater with a short snout horn) from the late Cretaceous period. Fossils (five skulls and some skeletal material) were found in Mongolia. It was named by paleontolgist Zurzanof in 1975. The type species is B. kozlowskii.

BRONTOPODUS

(pronounced BRON-to-PODE-us) Brontopodus ("thunder foot") was a huge brachiosaurid sauropod dinosaur known only from its fossilized footprints made by four clawed toes. No fossilized bones have been found, but the may have been made by Pleurocoelus. This common inchnogenus lived during the Jurassic period (in Portugal) and early Cretaceous period, roughly 131-119 million years ago (from the Paluxy River, Texas, USA). The long Texas trackways are unusual in that there are also tracks of a small theropod on the same path; the theropod seems to be following the huge sauropod. Brontopodus was named by paleontolgist Farlow, J. O., J. G. Pittman, and J. M. Hawthorne in 1989. The type species is B. birdi (for Roland Bird).


BRONTOPS

Brontops was a large extinct rhino-like mammal, a Brontothere, that was about 8 feet (2.5 m) tall and 13 feet (4 m) long (but its brain was only about the size of a person's fist); it weighed perhaps about 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg). Fossils have been found in the Badlands of South Dakota and other parts of what is now the USA in North America. Brontops was a plant-eater with low-crowned teeth. It had four-hoofed toes on each front foot and three-hoofed toes on each rear foot. It lived in woodlands about 35 million years ago, during the Oligocene period. Brontops had a pair of skin-covered bony horns on its head. Brontops went extinct as the climate cooled and the Ice Age began. The type species is Brontops dispar, named by paleontologist Osborn in 1929.


BRONTOSAURUS

(pronounced BRON-to-SAWR-us) Brontosaurus (meaning "thunder lizard") is an obsolete name for Apatosaurus, a huge sauropod from the Jurassic period.


BRONTOTHERE

The brontotheres (also known as titanotheres) are extinct family of large, rhinoceros-like mammals that were ancestors of the horse, rhinoceros, and tapir. Brontotheres had horn-like structures on their snout; bony knobs protruded from their skull and were covered with thick skin. Males had larger knobs than females. These herbivores ate soft forest vegetation and were up to 8 feet (2.5 m) tall at the shoulder. Brontotheres each had a tiny brain, only as big as a fist. They had four-hoofed toes on each front foot and three-hoofed toes on each rear foot. They lived from the early Eocene until the middle Oligocene (from 58-30 million years ago). Some titanotheres include Brontops (8 ft tall, from North America), Brontotherium (8 ft tall, from North America), Dolichorhinus (4 ft tall, from North America), Eotitanops (1.5 ft tall, from North America and Asia), and Embolotherium (8 ft tall, from Mongolia).

BRONTOTHERIUM

Brontotherium (meaning "thunder beast") is an extinct, hoofed, rhinoceros-like mammal ( a brontothere, not a dinosaur). This large animal had a Y-shaped horn on its head. It was about 16 ft (5 m) long, 8 ft (2.4 m) high at the shoulder and weighed about 5 tons (4.5 tonne). It had a bulky body, four sturdy legs, and thick skin. This odd-toed ungulate (perissodactyl) ate soft leaves and grass which it chewed with its wide, flat cheek teeth. It roamed the plains of North America in large herds during the late Eocene and Early Oligocene epochs (about 30-45 million years ago). It is classified as a Brontothere (titanothere), a group of huge mammals that had four hoofed toes on each front foot and three hoofed toes on each rear foot. These animals were extensively researched by paleontologist Henry F. Osborn.

BROWSER

A browser is an animal that eats tall foliage (leaves or trees and shrubs). Many sauropod dinosaurs, like Brachiosaurus and Ultrasauros, were browsers. Browsers generally don't kill the plant they eat.


BROWN, BARNUM

Barnum Brown (1873-1963) was a great US dinosaur hunter and assistant curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Brown discovered many dinosaurs, including the first T. rex specimens. He named: Anchiceratops (1914), Ankylosaurus (1908), Corythosaurus (1914), Hypacrosaurus (1913), Kritosaurus (1910), Leptoceratops (1914), Prosaurolophus (1916), Saurolophus (1912), and the family Ankylosauridae (1908). He co-named Pachycephalosaurus (1943) and Dromaeosaurus (1922) with E. M. Schlaikjer.
BRUHATHKAYOSAURUS
(pronounced bruh-HUT-kah-yo-SAWR-us) Bruhathkayosaurus (meaning "heavy-body lizard") was a titanosaurid sauropod dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period, about 70 million years ago. An incomplete fossil was found in India. This long-necked, long-tailed plant-eater was enormous, perhaps up to 130 ft (40 m) long. Bruhathkayosaurus was named by Yadagiri and Ayyasami in 1989. The type species is B. matleyi. Bruhathkayosaurus was originally classified as a theropod, but is now believed to be a titanosaurid sauropod (mostly becasue of the enormous size of the femur -2.34 meters long).


BRYOZOAN

Bryozoans (meaning "moss life") are a phylum of small invertebrate animals that live in salt water (or occasionally in fresh or brackish water) and are also called moss animals or sea mats. Bryozoans live in colonies of many polyps. They have ciliated tentacles and a hard, box-like, calcium carbonate skeleton. Bryozoans date from the Early Ordovician, roughly 400 million years ago. Fossil bryozoans are abundant and are important in the rock-forming process. Archimedes was a ancient corkscrew-shaped bryozoan.

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ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Click on an underlined word for more information on that subject.
If the dinosaur or paleontology term you are looking for is not in the dictionary, please e-mail us.

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