Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan: Back to Life in Virtual Reality

Come face to face with a Jurassic giant!

Brachiosaurus (Giraffatitan) in the dinosaur hall at Museum für Naturkunde by Antje Dittmann (MfN)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

The Brachiosaurus (Giraffatitan) is a centerpiece of the exhibitions in Berlin. It stands 13.27 metres tall and is the tallest mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world, as the Guinness Book of Records confirms. The dinosaur lived 150 million years ago and fed on plants.

Its skeleton was found by researchers during the great Tendaguru expedition. The name Brachiosaurus – lizard with arms – refers to its long arms. In 2007, visitors gave it its official nickname, Oskar.

Scientists all over the world are puzzling how much a live Brachiosaurus actually weighed. Some have calculated a mass of 50 tonnes, whereas others think it was just 20 to 30 tonnes. Furthermore, they are interested in the static and physiological problems a dinosaur this size had to overcome.

Investigating the head of Brachiosaurus brancai (= Giraffatitan brancai) at MfN by Hwa Ja Götz (MfN)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

This is not a replica or a cast. The Museum für Naturkunde displays the original bones of the giant Brachiosaurus. You can almost reach across the 150 million years that separate him from us.

A new scientific name was given to Brachiosaurus in 2009, when differences in the shape, size and proportions of the bones led to the distinction between a North American and an African species. Thus, Brachiosaurus brancai became Giraffatitan brancai. This is now the scientifically recognised name used by researchers.

Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan VR-Preview Image by Google Cultural InstituteMuseum für Naturkunde Berlin

On the next slides, we present you a brief (4 minute) Virtual Reality story about the Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan, its ecological niche, and the modern giraffe, which occupies a somewhat similar niche.

Come face to face with a Jurassic giant!

On normal devices (computer, smartphone) you can view the film as a 360° movie (remember to pan around).

However, if you have a smartphone with cardboard or any other VR headsets, you can view the video as a truly amazing VR Story in 3D!

First, the English language version of the movie:

Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan – Back to Life in Virtual Reality (English version) (2016)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan VR-Preview Image by Google Cultural InstituteMuseum für Naturkunde Berlin

The next page contains a German language version of the same movie:

Brachiosaurus / Giraffatitan: Zum Leben Erweckt – Durch Virtual Reality (German Version) (2016)Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Credits: Story

Photography: Antje Dittmann, Hwa Ja Götz (Museum für Naturkunde).


Coordination: Dr. Gregor Hagedorn (Museum für Naturkunde), Olaya De Marcos (Google Cultural Institute)

Creative Work: Emma Turpin, Xavier Barrade, Kate Baker and further members of the Google Creative Team, Framestore CGI company

Scientific consultation:
Daniela Schwarz (Paleontologist and Curator of Archosaurs, fossil birds, Reptiles and Ichnofossils at the Museum für Naturkunde)
Barbara Mohr (Paleobotanist and curator of Fossil Plants from the Triassic to the Cretaceous Period at the Museum für Naturkunde)
Faysal Bibi (Scientist at the Museum für Naturkunde, Research on mammalian evolution and biogeography)
Julian Fennessy (Scientist at the Giraffe Foundation)

Further contributors in alphabetical order:
Alice Chodura, Linda Gallé, Hwaja Götz, Sabine Hackethal, Valentin Henning, Sonja Kreft, Uwe Moldrzyk, Carola Radtke, Juliane Röhner, Elke Siebert, Gesine Steiner, Johannes Vogel.


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps