Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants

By Nicole Klein; Kristian Remes et al. | Go to book overview

18
Skeletal Reconstruction of Brachiosaurus brancai in the Museum für
Naturkunde, Berlin: Summarizing 70 Years of Sauropod Research

KRISTIAN REMES, DAVID M. UNWIN, NICOLE KLEIN, WOLF-DIETER HEINRICH, AND OLIVER HAMPE

THE SKELETAL RECONSTRUCTION OF Brachiosaurus brancai
displayed in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, is the
largest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world that in-
corporates original fossil material. Found during the
course of the German Tendaguru expedition from 1909 to
1913, a composite skeleton of B. brancai was first mounted
in 1938, and although it was demounted and remounted
several times, it remained unchanged until the renovation
of the Berlin dinosaur exhibition hall in 2005–2007. Here
we describe the scientific progress, technical solutions,
and specific decisions that led to the new mount, which
has been on display since 2007. The new mount differs in
a number of points from the old mount, including im-
proved models of the presacral vertebrae and head, the
posture of the neck, the shape of the torso, the orientation
of the pectoral girdle and forelimbs, and the posture of the
tail. Overall, the Brachiosaurus skeleton now looks livelier,
evoking the impression of an active, relatively agile ani-
mal and symbolizing developments in our understanding
of sauropods since the first mounting of the skeleton.


Introduction

In July 2007, the famous Dinosaur Hall of the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin reopened after two years of reconstruction and renovation, returning one of the world’s most famous dinosaur mounts to public view. The original reconstruction of Brachiosaurus brancai by Werner Janensch (1937; Fig. 18.1) has been emblematic of sauropod gigantism since the late 1930s, and pictures of the Berlin Brachiosaurus can be found in countless textbooks, popular articles, children’s books, and posters around the world. However, research on sauropod dinosaurs has made substantial progress since Janensch’s time, and the complete renovation of parts of the Museum für Naturkunde’s exhibitions, which began in 2004, provided a unique opportunity to update the Berlin reconstruction according to our current understanding of sauropod paleontology. Discoveries made by the DFG Research Unit 533, as described elsewhere in this volume, had a substantial influence on the new Brachiosaurus mount, but would not have been possible without the tremendous research efforts of Richard McNeill Alexander, Robert Bakker, Paul Barrett, José Bonaparte, Eric Buffetaut, Jorge Calvo, Matt Carrano, Per Christiansen, Peter Dodson, John Foster, John Hutchinson, Martin Lockley, John McIntosh, Leonardo Salgado, Paul Sereno, Paul Upchurch, Mark Wedel, Jeff Wilson, C. C. Young, Dong Zhiming, and many others. Debates on sauropod anatomy, posture, and paleobiology continue today, and not every sauropod researcher will agree with all aspects of the new reconstruction now on display. Therefore, as an epilogue to the issues discussed earlier in this book, we describe the history and science that led to the new Brachiosaurus mount on show in Berlin, and how the results of studies by our research group influenced individual decisions.

-305-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 331

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.