This Boring Taxonomical Change Is Making Dinosaur Nerds Go Crazy

A Brontosaurus is a dinosaur, right? Well, not according to new research.

Imagine if I told you everything you knew about dogs and cats was wrong because we decided that some animals we'd been calling dogs were actually cats. If that happened, you'd probably have questions, right? Well, it just happened-- except with dinosaurs.

The dinosaur family tree includes two groups: on the left is a family called Saurischia, that contains the Brontosaurus, Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus. On the right, the family Ornithischia contains Stegosaurus and Torosaurus (a.k.a, Triceratops).

Saurischia and Ornithischia aren't randomly assigned names. As humans found more and more of these ancient bones, we started putting them into groups. These animals have three bones in their hips: the Ilium, Ischium and Pubis. On Saurischians, they're arranged in a way that's called 'Lizard Hipped.' And in Ornithischians they're called 'Bird Hipped.'  It's a big difference.

And this is how paleontologists started categorizing these animals to trace their ancestry. It dates back to 1887. Until now. In 2017, British scientists analyzed the anatomical samples and decided the tree was in need of a change.

Read More:

Seeker: Dinosaur Family Tree Upended by 'Revolutionary' Study New study shakes the roots of the dinosaur family tree

NY Times: Shaking Up the Dinosaur Family Tree