Today’s episode is all about one of the most dynamite dinosaurs, the Brontosaurus! This long-necked icon has been featured in books, cartoons, movies, and even logos. But did the Brontosaurus really exist in the first place? We’ll dig into that question and uncover the history of Brontosaurus with science writer and bronto-enthusiast Riley Black. We’ll also learn about taxonomy from a ghost and catch up with Mr. Bone Jangles. Plus, a new mystery sound to discover!
Don’t forget to check out Forever Ago, where we have a companion episode to this Brontosaurus tale. It’s called The Bone Wars: A dino-discovery duel, and it’s all about two competing paleontologists, who get a little carried away.
SIDDHARTH: You're listening to Brains On!, where we're serious about being curious.
CHILD: Brains On! Is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
MR. BONE JANGLES: (SINGING) I got that bone, bone pow. Those skulls be jackin' my style.
SIDDHARTH: Is that a singing skeleton?
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh yeah. He talks, too. It's our resident skeleton, Mr. Bone Jangles. I'll introduce you. Hey, Mr Bone Jangles, this is my pal Siddharth.
SIDDHARTH: Pleasure to meet you.
MR. BONE JANGLES: You bet your bone marrow the pleasure is all yours. The name's Jangles-- Mr. Bone Jangles to you.
MOLLY BLOOM: What are you up to, Mr. Bone Jangles? And where did this pile of bones come from?
MR. BONE JANGLES: Well, you see, in addition to being a singing skeleton extraordinaire, I'm also a bit of a bone collector. This is my selection.
SIDDHARTH: Whoa, I've never seen this many bones before.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, it's pretty impressive.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Well, you see, that's the problem. I don't have room for all of these in my bone-chelorpad, not with my limited edition pet rocks and closet full of tap shoes. So it's time to pare down.
SIDDHARTH: But how are you going to decide?
MR. BONE JANGLES: Oh, I've been really into Marie Kon-bone lately. She's all the rage in osteo organization. You see, I have such a vast collection of bones, but I have to figure out which sparks joy. This frog femur-- femur? More like clutter, am I right?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, I think you can let this one go.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Oh frog femur, thank you for the memories. Ibiza was wild. Although it's our time to part, I'll never forget you.
Oh, I've got to keep this spare rib, you know, in case of emergencies.
MOLLY BLOOM: You're listening to Brains On! from APM Studios. I'm your host Molly Bloom, and today I'm joined by Siddharth from Houston, Texas.
SIDDHARTH: Hi, Molly.
MOLLY BLOOM: We are so happy to have you here, especially because we're talking about dinosaurs, something you know a lot about. So I'm just wondering, how did you get interested in dinosaurs?
SIDDHARTH: So I first got interested in dinosaurs when I lived in Switzerland when my mom got me this big dinosaur book that I took around with me everywhere.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, awesome. Did it have really cool illustrations?
MOLLY BLOOM: Do you have a favorite dinosaur?
SIDDHARTH: Yes, I have a favorite dinosaur called Struthiomimus. It is like-- it's like 6-foot tall, ostrich-like dinosaur.
MOLLY BLOOM: Cool. What else can you tell me about it?
SIDDHARTH: It is most likely feathered. It is a complete omnivore. It eats basically everything. It is the fastest dinosaur ever.
MOLLY BLOOM: How did that one become your favorite?
SIDDHARTH: Because I'm actually also extremely interested in birds and bird watching.
MOLLY BLOOM: Hmm.
SIDDHARTH: So the Struthiomimus literally means ostrich mimic.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, very cool. Yeah, dinosaurs are bird ancestors, which is so cool. Would you want to meet a dinosaur in real life if you could?
SIDDHARTH: I would like to, but I think my friend Jackson is more interested in meeting a dinosaur than I am. I like finding about them from a safe point.
MOLLY BLOOM: You're like, I'm not sure what would happen if I met one, so let's just read about them from the cool books I have. Do you guys talk about dinosaurs a lot?
SIDDHARTH: Yes, very often.
MOLLY BLOOM: What do you guys talk about when you are talking dinosaurs?
SIDDHARTH: Different species and genuses, like classifying things, like what are their diet, like what is your favorite dinosaur from blah, blah, blah family.
MOLLY BLOOM: What are some of your favorite families of dinosaurs to talk about?
SIDDHARTH: Ornithomimids, hadrosaurs, sauropods, and dromaeosaurids.
MOLLY BLOOM: Excellent. Well, today we're talking about a sauropod. It's not just about any old sauropod. We're talking about one of the most iconic.
SIDDHARTH: The brontosaurus.
MOLLY BLOOM: Brontosaurus were giant, four-legged dinosaurs that roamed the Earth about 150 million years ago.
SIDDHARTH: And since they're sauropods, this means they had big tails, long necks, and small heads. Brontosaurus are also herbivores, which means they eat plants.
MOLLY BLOOM: But brontos are also the subject of a lot of arguments. That's what listener Tosh was curious about. He wrote in and asked, is it true that the brontosaurus never existed? And if so, how did the theory that they existed come about?
SIDDHARTH: I love this question.
MOLLY BLOOM: Me, too. It's not that those sauropod dinosaurs-- the ones we know as brontosaurus-- didn't exist.
SIDDHARTH: Yeah, we found their skeletons. But maybe they're just given the wrong name.
MOLLY BLOOM: Dinosaurs are some of the only animals that we call by their scientific names. And Siddharth, I know you love thinking about these names, right?
SIDDHARTH: Yeah, a lot.
MOLLY BLOOM: What is your favorite dinosaur name?
SIDDHARTH: Can I say two?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, please.
SIDDHARTH: So Micropachycephalosaurus is one of them. It's the longest dinosaur name, and it means tiny, thick-headed lizard.
MOLLY BLOOM: I like that one a lot, too.
SIDDHARTH: And my second favorite is Rajasaurus, which means king of lizards. But I don't like it because what it means. I like it because it's actually a combination of Sanskrit and I think Greek.
MOLLY BLOOM: Cool.
SIDDHARTH: And like it's one of the few dinosaur names that is not only just Greek and Latin.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Raja is Sanskrit for king.
SIDDHARTH: Yeah, for king.
MOLLY BLOOM: Well, all animals have a scientific name, not just dinosaurs. For example, pet dogs are Canis lupus familiaris.
SIDDHARTH: Cats are Felis catus.
MOLLY BLOOM: These names help us organize different creatures and understand how they're all related to each other, whether we're talking plants, animals, or fungi.
SIDDHARTH: Like maybe you've heard of Homo sapiens. That's the scientific name for humans.
MOLLY BLOOM: Most of these names come from Latin or Greek, like you said. Scientists took pieces of these other languages to create new words. So for example, brontosaurus-- in Greek, bronto means thunder and saurus means lizard. So some scientists thought that was a good name for such an enormous, heavy beast.
SIDDHARTH: Thunder lizard-- so metal.
[ELECTRIC GUITAR PLAYING]
I wonder why we only call dinosaurs by their scientific names. How do scientists decide our names anyway? Who gets to pick?
MOLLY BLOOM: Those are all great questions.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Allow me to enlighten you, my friend.
MOLLY BLOOM: Ah! Who are you?
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Why, the ghost of Carl Linnaeus, of course-- Swedish botanist, organizational genius, and best in the naming business since 1735. The man with the plan to name all living things on Earth, I developed an ingenious system called taxonomy-- not to be confused with taxidermy. That, my friends, is the art of stuffing and preparing dead animals for display. Taxonomy is a way to classify living creatures-- to put them in organized groups so we can understand how all lifeforms are related to one another. It's quite brilliant, really, if I do say so myself.
SIDDHARTH: Organizing life forms-- not stuffing them or asking them to pay taxes or ride in taxicabs.
MOLLY BLOOM: That would make them taxidermied taxpayers keeping an eye on the taximeter.
SIDDHARTH: Good one.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, I thank you. I do like a bit of wordplay I must say.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: If I may continue, here is how taxonomy works. Pick an animal-- any animal.
SIDDHARTH: A duck-- a Mallard duck, you know the ones where the males have those cool green heads?
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Excellent. My system works by assigning categories to living things based on their physical characteristics. There are seven major categories to go from big to small. Each category fits into the next biggest one until they all fit inside the largest one.
MOLLY BLOOM: Like nesting dolls?
SIDDHARTH: It's actually more like how you can have a whole country, and then inside that country is a city, and inside the city is a neighborhood.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Precisely. And then in that neighborhood is a house, and then in that house a room. In that room is a bed, and on that bed is a pillow. The largest category-- the country-- holds all the smaller ones. And as the categories get smaller and smaller, the animals are more closely related to each other. The names for these categories from largest to smallest are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.
MOLLY BLOOM: Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species? That's a lot to keep track of.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Don't worry, I wrote a little ditty to help you remember. (SINGING) Oh life, I know it's a puzzle, but we understand the pieces thanks to kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Now you try.
MOLLY BLOOM AND SIDDHARTH: (SINGING) Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Excellent. So let's start with the biggest possible category-- kingdom. What kind of living thing is a duck? A plant, an animal, or a fungus?
SIDDHARTH: Definitely an animal.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Indeed. And so we start by putting the duck in the right kingdom, or the country, as Siddharth cleverly said.
SIDDHARTH: The kingdom for animals is called Animalia.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Precisely. All animals are part of the category Animalia.
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, so next comes the (SINGING) kingdom, phylus-- phylum. How do we figure that out?
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: We look at another big clue for understanding how animals are related-- the backbone. Does the duck have a spine?
SIDDHARTH: Let me see.
Yep, backbone confirmed.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Then the duck goes into the phylum chordata for all animals with a backbone.
SIDDHARTH: So we're in the country Animalia and in the city of Chordata.
MOLLY BLOOM: So that means animals who don't have a spine don't go to backbone city.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Jellyfish and worms begone. No backbone means a different phylum.
MOLLY BLOOM: You can find them in their very own, very squishy city. OK, I get it. So next is the neighborhood. That's class, and that goes inside phylum and kingdom. So what class is a duck?
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: I went with the Latin word for bird-- avis. All my categories are based on words in Latin or ancient Greek. Because in my day, many scientists knew both of those languages. So researchers from all over the world could talk to one another without pesky language differences getting in the way.
MOLLY BLOOM: So birds are animals with backbones, warm blood, feathers, and beaks.
SIDDHARTH: But there's so many different kinds of animals that are birds, so we keep categorizing. We found the duck's neighborhood, so let's go find its house.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: I love your enthusiasm, Siddharth. You're really catching on. I call this category the order, but house is easier to picture. Ducks have webbed feet, a bill, a long neck, and preference for a watery habitat. So this friend fits into the waterfowl house. It's full of ducks, geese, swans, and other birds.
SIDDHARTH: What a fun neighborhood. Over there is another house full of robins and owls.
And across the street is the penguin house.
MOLLY BLOOM: But today, we're heading to the waterfowl house. Let's find your room, ducky.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Yes, the next smallest category is family. Ducky is sharing a bedroom with geese and swans, since they are closely related.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, I know geese do poop a lot. But at least you're not sharing a bed with them.
SIDDHARTH: Yes, the genus and species are the most important-- the bed and the pillow.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Right. The ducks share a genus, so they sleep in one bed together. But they each get their very own custom pillow-- their own scientific name. Our mallard duck here is called Anas platyrhynchos.
MOLLY BLOOM: Cool. So that name sets mallard ducks apart from all the other animals.
SIDDHARTH: So why do we use duck for a duck and pig for a pig and yak for a yak but we call dinosaurs by their scientific names?
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: Well, common names like duck and pig are what humans called animals for thousands of years, long before I invented the system of classification, and long before humans knew what dinosaurs were. By the time we started finding dinosaur bones, though, it was cool to use scientific names. So that's what we call those dinos. So let's sing my song one more time, shall we? It's a real banger.
ALL: (SINGING) Oh, life on Earth's a puzzle, but we understand the pieces, thanks to kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: (SINGING) Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.
SIDDHARTH: Well, thanks ghost of Carl Linnaeus. That's a pretty cool system you invented.
GHOST OF CARL LINNAEUS: I think so, too. Oh yeah, would you look at the time? It's been a pleasure, Siddharth and Molly. I am late to haunt the Natural History Museum. Ooh!
DISTORTED VOICE: Brains, brains, brains, brains.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Ooh, Molly.
MOLLY BLOOM: What's up, Mr. Bone Jangles?
MR. BONE JANGLES: Is it time?
MOLLY BLOOM: Uh, time for what?
MR. BONE JANGLES: The secret noise.
Secret noises-- and jazz hands. [VOCALIZING]
MOLLY BLOOM: Secret noise? Oh, yeah. Yes, it is time for the mysterium sonos, also known as the--
CHILD: (WHISPERING) Mystery sound.
MOLLY BLOOM: Here it is.
SIDDHARTH: Um, to me that sounded like somebody turning like on a stove or something, or like an airplane taking off. But I heard like-- I heard like a bird or something squawking. And so I don't know.
MOLLY BLOOM: There's a lot of things happening there. So I think-- so you heard something rumbling, which I think is what you're thinking the plane taking off is, right?
SIDDHARTH: Yeah. Maybe they're talking. Maybe they're like cooking a live chicken or something, and the chicken is the one that's squawking in anger.
MOLLY BLOOM: (LAUGHING) Maybe. Possibly, possibly. You really like birds, though, so I understand why like your mind went to birds right away. Do you want to hear it one more time?
SIDDHARTH: Yes, please.
MOLLY BLOOM: OK, let's hear it again.
SIDDHARTH: Wait no, I got it. It sounds like somebody wiping windows on a very windy day.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, I like that. That's a really good guess.
MR. BONE JANGLES: I know that secret noise anywhere-- definitely two frozen hot dogs banging together. I'm certain.
MOLLY BLOOM: Could be. All right then, you'll have another chance to guess, and we'll hear the answers after the credits.
We're working on an episode all about spectacular space facts-- facts that are so spectacular we want to hear you sing about them. We'd love to hear your intergalactic space jingles.
SIDDHARTH: A jingle is a short little catchy song.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Did someone say jangles?
MOLLY BLOOM: Mr. Bone Jangles, we actually said jingles.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Oh, Mr. Bone Jangles loves a jingle.
MOLLY BLOOM: Can you sing one about space?
MR. BONE JANGLES: Let me give it a shot. I've never been, but let me try it. (SINGING) Space is cool, except the sun. Space is cool. It's so much fun. Space is cool, even for a skeleton. Woo, woo. Siddharth, would you like to try?
SIDDHARTH: Can I spend a little time coming up with it?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yes, absolutely.
SIDDHARTH: (SINGING) Do you want to see a galaxy light years away? Then use a telescope, but not during the day.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Bravo! We didn't even practice.
MOLLY BLOOM: Listeners, record your jingle and send it to us at brainson.org/contact.
SIDDHARTH: While you're there, you can also send us your mystery sounds, drawings, or questions, like this one.
CHILD: Why do my fingers get wrinkly in the water?
MOLLY BLOOM: We'll answer that on our show, Moment of Um. So subscribe to that wherever you listen to Brains On!. Just search for a Moment of Um.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Moment of Um-- more like moment of fun.
SIDDHARTH: And keep listening.
MOLLY BLOOM: You are listening to Brains On! From AP studios. I'm Molly.
SIDDHARTH: And I'm Siddharth.
MOLLY BLOOM: And we're back to talk about brontosaurus, the giant, long-necked, long-tailed dinosaurs.
SIDDHARTH: And if they even existed at all.
MOLLY BLOOM: We've learned a little bit about taxonomy and how scientists go about naming things, like dinosaurs.
SIDDHARTH: Right. Each creature gets sorted into different categories. And it's this sorting and naming that got us all confused about brontos.
MOLLY BLOOM: Here to help explain this bronto brouhaha is science writer and brontosaurus enthusiast Riley Black.
RILEY BLACK: So we can trace a lot of our most famous and most charismatic dinosaurs in particular-- you know, many other forms of fossil life, but dinosaurs especially-- to the Bone Wars.
MOLLY BLOOM: The Bone Wars was a time in the late 1800s when paleontologists-- people who study dinosaurs and other ancient life-- were digging up lots and lots of fossils.
SIDDHARTH: Fossils are when bones or other remains from a living thing are preserved in rock or sediment.
MOLLY BLOOM: And there were these two paleontologists who really wanted to discover the most fossils. Their names were Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.
SIDDHARTH: Were they a team?
MOLLY BLOOM: Well, the two started out as friends. At first, they were such good buddies that they even named fossils they discovered after each other. But they got so competitive that eventually they turned into enemies. They started accusing each other of spying, tried to embarrass one another, and even destroyed fossils so the other one couldn't claim them.
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, it was bananas. If you want to hear more about it, Forever Ago is doing a whole episode on the Bone Wars. You can check it out at foreverago.org. It's going to be out on October 12. But one of these guys, Marsh, found a fossil of this long-necked dinosaur in 1877.
MAN: Hmm, long neck, long tail. I'll call this Apatosaurus ajax.
MOLLY BLOOM: And then, a few years later, Marsh found another one. This one was a little bigger than the apatosaurus he found earlier.
MAN: I think I'll call it Brontosaurus excelsis.
SIDDHARTH: Right-- the thunder lizard.
MOLLY BLOOM: And so Marsh names this dinosaur and moves on. After he died though, another paleontologist revisited the brontosaurus.
RILEY BLACK: Around 1900, there was a paleontologist named Elmer Riggs, who was working at the Field Museum in Chicago. And the Field Museum at the time-- they wanted a big dinosaur. They wanted something that they could show off.
ELMER RIGGS: Come on, Riggs. Think, think, think. We gotta show up and show off.
MOLLY BLOOM: So Riggs went off to Colorado and started digging around for an impressive dino. And he found the back half of an animal that looked similar to an apatosaurus. So he went back and compared it to the bronto bones Marsh had collected.
ELMER RIGGS: Hmm, what is this? Is it apatosaurus, brontosaurus, maybe something new?
RILEY BLACK: And he figured out that, you know what? Apatosaurus and brontosaurus are not different enough to deserve having different names. They might be different species of each other, but they should be the same genus.
SIDDHARTH: Remember, genus is a way of organizing names. So they're pretty close relatives. So they're in the same bed, just not using the same pillow.
MOLLY BLOOM: Right. Like a gray wolf and domestic dog belong to the same genus called canis-- they're different species, but they share the same genus.
SIDDHARTH: Or like cereal and oatmeal-- both grainy breakfast foods in a bowl-- samesies but different.
MOLLY BLOOM: So because the bones of apatosaurus and brontosaurus looked so similar, Riggs thought they must be the same genus. And since apatosaurus was named first, he chose that name as the genus.
MAN: Let's stick with the apatosaurus, shall we?
MOLLY BLOOM: But Riggs made them two different species-- Apatosaurus ajax and Apatosaurus excelsis.
SIDDHARTH: One for the original apatosaurus that Marsh found first-- Apatosaurus ajax--
MOLLY BLOOM: And one for the brontosaurus he discovered after-- Apatosaurus excelsis.
RILEY BLACK: So we have Apatosaurus ajax and Apatosaurus excelsis. But the thing was a lot of museums didn't really like apatosaurus as a name. They thought brontosaurus was just a better name. So they just kept running with it.
MAN: So Riggs, about that brontosaurus in our museum collection.
ELMER RIGGS: You mean apatosaurus.
MAN: Tomato, tomato, potato, potato-- apatosaurus, brontosaurus.
ELMER RIGGS: That's not how this works actually.
MAN: But brontosaurus just has that je ne sais quoi, that pizzazz. Let's keep that name, yeah.
ELMER RIGGS: Actually--
MAN: Cool talk. OK, bye.
MOLLY BLOOM: So here's where things get a little sticky. After Riggs' observations, scientists realized apatosaurus and brontosaurus skeletons were too similar to have different names. Instead, they should just have one name. The scientists were team apatosaurus, but museums thought that Marsh's original name sounded so much cooler, so they sided with team brontosaurus.
RILEY BLACK: So in the scientific literature, no one's really using brontosaurus anymore. But if you go to a museum, they'll say, here's a brontosaurus skeleton. And it kind of generated a lot of confusion.
SIDDHARTH: Yeah, that's so confusing.
MOLLY BLOOM: And it got more confusing, because the name brontosaurus really took off. It was used in movies, logos, books, and cartoons. In The Flintstones, for example, Fred Flintstone and his pals used bronto cranes and ate bronto burgers. And apatoburger burger doesn't quite have the same ring to it.
SIDDHARTH: In 1989, the US Postal Service even put the brontosaurus on a stamp. Scientists were not happy.
MOLLY BLOOM: Postage stamps-- not really the most controversial thing out there. But of everything, it was these stamps that really caused quite the commotion among scientists.
WOMAN 1: The Postal Service is really testing my patience.
WOMAN 2: Yeah, we stopped using the name brontosaurus before I was born.
MAN: Calling it apatosaurus a brontosaurus is the work of knuckleheads.
MOLLY BLOOM: But in 2015, we got another plot twist.
SIDDHARTH: Ooh, I love a plot twist.
MOLLY BLOOM: A group of researchers looked at hundreds of sauropod fossils, comparing them to one another. And they concluded that actually brontosaurus does deserve to be its own genus different from the apatosaurus.
SIDDHARTH: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me get this straight. So it started with Marsh saying that brontosaurus is different from apatosaurus--
--but then another paleontologist disproved that.
MOLLY BLOOM: Right. Riggs argued they were too similar and they should both be named apatosaurus.
SIDDHARTH: But then the museums thought brontosaurus was a cooler name, so they stuck with it?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, but the scientists disagreed. They were still team apatosaurus.
SIDDHARTH: But then years later, more scientists looked at the bones and said brontosaurus deserves to be its own thing?
MOLLY BLOOM: You got it.
SIDDHARTH: I feel like I'm getting whiplash. Is a brontosaurus or apatosaurus? Which is right? How do I decide? Who decides?
RILEY BLACK: Yeah. Well, I feel one of the important things to remember about how science works in regards to brontosaurus is that we are still not 100% sure whether brontosaurus is a valid dinosaur name or not. We have the bones. The animal definitely existed. But it's a matter of what do we call it. It's not as if these animals were as different as like a flamingo and an elephant. They're so similar that it really comes down to the nitty gritty and the systems that we put into science to navigate some of these differences.
MOLLY BLOOM: And that's an important thing to remember about science. It's always changing. It's not like we find an answer and we're done forever. We're always learning more. It's kind of like a blurry photo that's coming into focus very slowly over time.
RILEY BLACK: And that's the most special part of all this-- is that dinosaurs are always changing. You know, week by week, new species are named. We learn new things about them. Our image of what they were like and how they lived is constantly changing. So I kind of love that I grew up with this particular image of what brontosaurus was.
But it has changed. And now even if that name comes back, it's a vastly different animal than it was when I was reading books in the 1980s. And I think that's the best part of it-- that this is all process. It's all sort of an evolution of this animal that spans centuries at this point.
SIDDHARTH: So after all of that, everything is still up in the air?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah, scientists still aren't sure whether brontosaurus deserves to be its own dinosaur or not. But that's what makes it so exciting.
SIDDHARTH: That's a good point. It means there's so much more to discover and learn.
MOLLY BLOOM: Exactly. And no matter what, we can all agree that dinosaurs are pretty epic.
SIDDHARTH: The dinosaur by any other name would still be just as awesome. Thanks for sharing with us, Riley.
RILEY BLACK: Thank you so much for having me on. This has been so much fun.
CHILD: Brains on-- on-- on.
WOMAN: Get ready to get organized.
MR. BONE JANGLES: A-ring-a-ding-ding?
MAN: Are you talking skeleton?
MR. BONE JANGLES: An organized talking skeleton to you. It's your lucky day, because I'm here to give you a life a top-to-bottom makeover. Now, step aside and let's get to work. I don't remember signing up for this. Wait, that's my underwear drawer.
WOMAN: Join your host, Mr. Bone Jangles, as he helps you go from total mess ready to impress.
MR. BONE JANGLES: OK first, we have to decide what to keep and what to let go.
MAN: I think I can get rid of this bucket hat. I don't really wear it anymore.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Oh, but you have to keep it. It's so cute. You can't get rid of that.
MAN: Oh, OK.
WOMAN: Full of insider tips--
MAN: I feel like I just have too much stuff.
MR. BONE JANGLES: It's all about clear containers. Just stuff your stuff in boxes, and voila-- organized.
WOMAN: And quick tricks to tidy up.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Too tired to actually sift through your things? There's so many good spots to stash your stuff-- under the bed, under the rug, inside your fish tank, out of sight, out of mind. I have a bumper sticker that says that.
MAN: As long as I don't open this door, it's fine.
WOMAN: Now streaming on Amazon Spine.
SIDDHARTH: Scientists use taxonomy as a system to categorize all living things.
MOLLY BLOOM: At first, paleontologists thought apatosaurus and brontosaurus should be two different dinosaurs. But later they decided they were too similar and kept the name apatosaurus.
SIDDHARTH: But the name brontosaurus stuck around because museums thought the name was cooler.
MOLLY BLOOM: Scientists still don't agree whether the name brontosaurus should be used or not.
SIDDHARTH: Science is always changing as we learn new information about what we know or what we thought we knew.
MOLLY BLOOM: That's it for this episode of Brains On.
SIDDHARTH: This episode of produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie DuPont, Anna Goldfield, Ruby Guthrie, Marc Sanchez, and Nico Gonzalez Wisler.
MOLLY BLOOM: Our editors are Sanden Totten and Shahla Farzan, and our executive producer is Beth Pearlman. We had engineering help from Jess Berg and Jack Williams. This episode was sound designed by Rachel Brees. Special thanks to Vasudha Bhardwaj, Shannon Harrison, Mickey Bloom, Taylor McCoy, and Lucas Rappelle. The executives in charge of APM Studios are Chandra Kavati, Joanne Griffith, and Alex Schaffert.
SIDDHARTH: Brains On! Is a nonprofit public radio program.
MOLLY BLOOM: If you liked the show, there are a ton of ways you can support us. You can tell your friends about us.
SIDDHARTH: Go to our brainson.org and donate to the show.
MOLLY BLOOM: Once you're there, send in your drawings.
SIDDHARTH: Or even mystery sounds.
MR. BONE JANGLES: Speaking of mystery sounds, we have to find out what it is. I'm just dying to know.
MOLLY BLOOM: Oh, good catch, Mr. Bone Jangles. Let's hear it one more time.
SIDDHARTH: Yeah I'm really thinking somebody wiping windows on a rainy day, because I've wiped windows with like a cloth or a napkin before. And I know like microphones, whenever they're like out in the wind, you can really hear that sound when the wind is blowing over it.
MOLLY BLOOM: That is a really great guess. Well, the answer was sent in by listener Jackson from Alabama, and it is the sound of bare feet squeaking in the sand as they run on the beach. Isn't that wild?
MR. BONE JANGLES: Ooh, I just love a secret noise-- at the beach.
SIDDHARTH: That's sand?
MOLLY BLOOM: Yeah. Yeah, those are the grains of sand like rubbing together I guess.
SIDDHARTH: Oh my. OK, I had-- I did not see that coming.
MOLLY BLOOM: I did not either. That was a really hard one. I didn't know sand could sound like that. It totally sounded like the window being cleaned to me, too.
Now it's time for the Brain's Honor Roll. These are the incredible kids who keep the show going with their questions, ideas, mystery sounds, drawings, and high fives.
[LISTING HONOR ROLL]
We'll be back next week with more answers to your questions.
SIDDHARTH: Thanks for listening.
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