Diplodocus is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs. It lived in what is now mid-western North America at the end of the Jurassic period. It is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, with its typical sauro pod shape, long neck and tail, and four sturdy legs.
About Diplodocus in brief
Diplodocus is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs. It lived in what is now mid-western North America at the end of the Jurassic period. It is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, with its typical sauro pod shape, long neck and tail, and four sturdy legs. For many years, it was the longest dinosaur known. Its great size may have been a deterrent to the predators Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus: their remains have been found in the same strata, which suggests that they coexisted with Diplidocus. The skeletal structure of these long-necked, long-tailed animals supported by four sturdy leg have been compared with suspension bridges. The middle part of the tail had double beams, which may have provided support for the vertebrae, or perhaps prevented the blood vessels from being crushed if the animal’s heavy tail pressed against the ground. No skull has ever been confidently said to belong to DiplODocus, though other sauropods, such as Mamenchisaurus, are thought to be members of the diplocid family as well as the non-diuropod family of Diplododocus. It was first discovered in 1877 by S. W. Williston. The generic name, coined by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1878, is a neo-Latin term derived from Greek ‘double’ and ‘beam’ in reference to the double-beamed chevron bones located in the underside of the Tail, which were then considered unique.
The fossils were found in middle to upper Morrison Formation, between about 154 and 152 million years ago, during the late Kimmeridgian age. The Morrison Formation records an environment and time dominated by gigantic sauro pods such as Apatosaurus, Barosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Brontosaurus, and Camarasaurus. It also records a time when dinosaurs such as Supersaurus were probably longer, but fossil remains of these animals are only fragmentary. The front limb of this claw was unusually large, and the front limb was flattened to one side, and detached from the side to the other. It may have had a defensive or noisemaking function, and may have served as a counterbalance for the neck. It had an extremely long tail, composed of about 80 caudal vertebraes, which are almost double the number some of the earlier sauroPods had in their tails, and far more than contemporaneous macronarians had. Some weight estimates of this time ranged as high as 113 metric tons. Modern mass estimates have tended to be in the 11–14. 8-metric-ton range. The nearly complete Dipladocus carnegii skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also was found to have had its 13th tail vertebra come from another dinosaur, throwing off size estimates for D. hallorum even further.