Ahhh, yes. Brontosaurus (also known as Apatosaurus--some
would say that the name Brontosaurus is obsolete, but I stubbornly cling to the name with which I associated this
beast in childhood). Plus, it's labeled as such on this big guy's tail. So we'll call him Bronto here.
Brontosaurus lived in the Late Jurassic Period, and the dual names have
quite a story behind them. Othniel C. Marsh found a partial skeleton of one sauropod dinosaur in 1877, naming it Apatosaurus.
Shortly afterward, he found another partial skeleton of (what he thought was) another sauropod and named it Brontosaurus.
Later, it was discovered that the former was just a juvenile specimen
of the latter. Elmer Riggs of the Field Museum in Chicago, pointed out Marsh's mistake in 1903:
"...the writer is convinced that the Apatosaur
specimen is merely a young animal of the form represented in the adult by the Brontosaur specimen."
Riggs went on to say that, since Apatosaurus had been the name given
first, that would be the name that should be stuck with. But, though
it was just the dawn of the 20th century, the name Brontosaurus continued to be used heavily anyhow,
in popular publications and other places (hey, they didn't call 'em 'Apato-Burgers' on the Flintstones, now, did they? Apato-Patties,
maybe? Okay, okay...).
Well it turns out that, not only did ol' Marsh give Bronto two
names by accident; he mounted the wrong head onto his famous Yale specimen. Brontosaurus donned a Camarasaurus noggin
for some years (another common Jurassic sauropod). Some people had doubts as to whether the head was correct, but in the
1970s. John McIntosh from Wesleyan University and David Berman
of the Carnegie Museum set things straight by finding Bronto's real head. It was found that, rather than the stubby Camarasaurus
head, Bronto should have a more elongate skull like that of his cousin Diplodocus.
Well, our friend Marx Bronto here was done in the 1950s, originally,
so that explains his very Camarasaurus-like noggin. I know I sound like a broken record here, but I doubt anyone'd argue that
this guy's influence is from, once again, Rudolph Zallinger's mural. Ol' Rudy stuck the Camarasaurus head on his Bronto too--but
again, this was before the smart guys came along and switched the heads in the 70s.
We can only hope this did not cause an identity crisis in poor Bronto...
Actually, I hear that, after a few therapy sessions, things turned out
okay for the big guy.
As for Marx Bronto, he is outdated, but cool. Hey, these Marx figures
are all cool in a retro kind of way...and though some of them may be based on earlier ideas of what these animals looked like,
they are all very well done.
Below: A pinkish-purple Brontosaurus, which I believe is a 70s (or 80s) recast.