Critter of the Week: Apatosaurus

Meet Ajax. He’s a gentle giant with a big heart and a big appetite.  He’ll do anything for food and a belly rub.  And when I say anything, I mean anything…


ajax update2



Ajax is big, heavy, and always hungry.  He’s got a knack for sniffing out treats and getting into places he shouldn’t.  He really didn’t think things through when he squeezed into the shed that one time…

But usually he doesn’t have that problem.  No one knows who left the gate open anyway, and whoever did it isn’t talking…but most days are pretty uneventful.  Filled with eating, drinking, and possibly watching the big guys size each other up to see who’s toughest.

See the ones way out there in the pasture, standing back on their tails?  They’re blowing up their necks like a couple of bullfrogs.  My goodness they’re loud!

Bronty herd sketch_flat
The ladies seem mildly interested…unless you have an itch to bite at.

Now did wild Apatosaurus do this?  We really can’t know for sure, but they do have super thick necks compared to most other long-necked sauropods, so they must’ve been doing something weird.

Some experts speculate that they might’ve neck-wrestled each other.  A bit like giraffes or even some reptiles do today.

Unlike giraffes and most reptiles though, these big guys are quite comfortable standing up on their hind legs.  They can’t walk very well this way, but they can stand up to get a better reach for the tree-tops.  A strong tail is like the third leg on a tripod or three-legged stool.

This way Ajax can stand still and get a lot more food without even having to move!  A good thing if you eat all day.


Making progress…

Ajax got a bit of an update.  I’m slowly changing the eyes to match the new style, and I think you can see his expression easier now.  I also changed his color a little, because he’s domestic and can afford to be a bit brighter, and also so you can see his expressions easier.  🙂

Here’s the older version for comparison.

 ajax update


Here’s a close-up of the Ajax’s new update.  It’s hard to see that tiny head in smaller pictures. 🙂

Oops, is he missing his nose?  I’ll just say that you can’t quite see it from this angle. 😛

This week has been a lot slower on progress than I would like, but my little big guy had a great party!  The bubble machine, creature hunt, and the cake where all a hit. 😀

Speaking of cake, here’s the one I made for the party.  Coral and seaweed have been around for ages, and would certainly have been plentiful in Jurassic oceans as well, so I figure it’s appropriate to share here. 🙂

Blue-velvet deliciousness with a thin coat of cream cheese frosting: colored blue on bottom, but smeared some white on the top for the frothy waves.  Seaweed, coral, and sponges are made of fondant, which is an edible sugary paste that can be shaped like clay. 😀  Suuuper sweet stuff, but I was only left with one tiny slice accompanying one piece of coral.


While I work on making further progress, you can take a peak down memory lane.  It’s an older post, but you may not have seen it yet, so here it is for you to enjoy. 🙂

A&S_ajax copy


Coming Next Week…

The oft-proclaimed smallest dinosaur in the world is!…not as small as you might think. 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! He’s one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

20 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Apatosaurus

    1. Astraspis was a jawless, armored fish from the Ordivician period. Haikouichthys is one of the first proposed vertebrates from the Cambrian. It’s not really a fish atll, but it did have a skull, so it’s considered a craniate. The spine is not clearly defined enough to be completely sure if it’s a vertebrate or not. So very different 🙂


    1. Actually, the fish I drew is Sacabambaspis, an armored, jawless fish from the Ordovician period 🙂

      One of the first known vertebrates is Haikouichthys, which lived much earlier. It had barely a mouth, and had flat fins kind of like an eel, though it’s body was more leaf-shaped 🙂 It was only 6mm long, so would be hard to see in the tank 😀


  1. I can see why keeping Ajax is a difficult task now..Well I think everone does 😀 And do we have evidence that sauropods can puff their necks like that? Just curious☺


    1. No evidence whatsoever 😁 That’s just wild speculation on my part. It’s not entirely unreasonable though, since it would only take specialized muscles along the neck if it’s more of a muscle flex, a bit like a cobra but no bone involved. Or also likely would be an extension of the bird-like air-system.

      Sauropods, like birds, have extensive air pockets throughout their bodies. It basically works like an extra large pair of lungs that are interlaced throughout the body. In some birds, this can be used to inflate special pouches on the neck, or just make the bird appear larger by making the neck look thicker.

      Or even simpler…He has a very stretchy throat to allow as much food as possible…and when he wants to look as big and impressive as possible, he just swallows a bunch of air and puffs up like a puff adder. 🙂


        1. There are a few kinds of fish that are pretty unusual like that. The flounder has eyes on only one side of it’s face, and the spookfish has a translucent top to its head, so that its eyes can move and see from side to side or straight up through the top of its head if it needs to.


            1. Oh, that’s a prehistoric fish (sorry, I forget the name). One of them is swimming in a way that we can see the armor on its back. It’s eyes were very tiny, and it had a tiny mouth with no jaw bones (just a little suction mouth). So it’s face is very weird and flat.


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