Dinosaur Discoveries in North America

Famous Paleontologists from North America

Who was Elmer Riggs?

In 1900, the first Brachiosaurus, or “arm reptile,” was discovered in the area of Grand Junction, Colorado. The dinosaur got its name from having its front legs longer than its hind legs, and was regarded as the largest known dinosaur at that time. The Brachiosaurus was discovered by Elmer Riggs (1869–1963), assistant curator of paleontology at the Field Columbian Museum (now the Field Museum of Natural History) in Chicago, and H.W. Menke. The area where the bones were discovered and quarried is now known as Riggs Hill. Riggs broke with the conventional thought of his day, suggesting that the sauropod was not amphibious (living on land and in water), but rather a land-dwelling animal with habits similar to those of the modern elephant.


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