Bar·​o·​sau·​rus | \ ¦ber-ə-¦sȯr-əs How to pronounce Barosaurus (audio) , ¦ba-rə- \

Definition of Barosaurus

1 : a genus of very large, herbivorous, sauropod dinosaurs (family Diplodocidae) that lived during the late Jurassic period, closely resemble the related Diplodocus dinosaurs, and may have attained a length of up to 90 feet (27 meters) with a neck length of 30 feet (9.1 meters) … advanced the peculiar idea that the long-necked Barosaurus needed eight hearts to pump enough blood to its head.— Paul Hoffman, Discover, January 1993
2 barosaurus or less commonly barosaur \ ¦ber-​ə-​¦sȯr How to pronounce Barosaurus (audio) , ¦ba-​rə-​ \, plural barosauruses or less commonly barosaurs : a dinosaur of the genus Barosaurus A five-story barosaurus is rearing up to protect her baby barosaurus and to smash a marauding allosaurus with a nasty overbite.— Leslie Camhi, Village Voice, 26 July 1994 If the barosaur couldn't rear up on its hind legs, how did it defend itself?— Jack Hitt, Discover, September 2006

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First Known Use of Barosaurus

1890, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Barosaurus

borrowed from New Latin, from baro- baro- + -saurus -saurus

Note: Genus name introduced by the American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-99) in “Description of New Dinosaurian Reptiles,” American Journal of Science, 3rd series, vol. 39 (January-June, 1890), p. 85. Marsh does not disclose any justification for the name, though if the intent was to coin the Greco-Latin equivalent of “heavy lizard,” bary- would have been the apter element. The neuter s-stem báros, “weight, heavy weight, heaviness,” was not a source of compounds in classical Greek, and owes its use in modern scientific terminology to baroscope and barometer, from which the meaning “pressure” has been extrapolated.

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The first known use of Barosaurus was in 1890

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Cite this Entry

“Barosaurus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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