“Hmm… let me just sit back in my office chair while this gigantic beast tramples me to death.”
The authors classified the new genus based on an incomplete skeleton including bones from the shoulder, hip, ribs, vertebrae and some unidentifiable fragments. They used the bones to identify Brontomerus’ unique features, primarily the shape of the hip bone, which, in the case of Brontomerus, is unusually large in comparison to that of similar dinosaurs. The wide, blade-shaped bone projects forward ahead of the hip socket, providing a proportionally massive area for the attachment of muscles. The shape of the bone indicates that the animal would likely have had the largest leg muscles of any dinosaur in the sauropod family. This is reflected in the name Brontomerus, which literally means "thunder-thighs." The dinosaur’s species name, mcintoshi, was chosen in honour of John "Jack" McIntosh, a retired physicist at Wesleyan University, Conn., and lifelong avocational paleontologist. "Brontomerus mcintoshi is a charismatic dinosaur and an exciting discovery for us," said first author Dr Mike Taylor, a researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London. "When we recognised the weird shape of the hip, we wondered what its significance might be, but we concluded that kicking was the most likely. The kick would probably have been used when two males fought over a female, but given that the mechanics were all in place it would be bizarre if it wasn’t also used in predator defence."