Diplodocus Facts: Extinct Animals Of The World

SW Williston discovered Diplodocus in 1877 and a year later, Othniel Charles Marsh classified the dinosaur and gave it a generic neo-Latin name derived from a combination of Greek words which translates to “double” and “radius”. This denomination refers to the chevron bones of the creature that were double-beamed and located on the underside of the tail. Remains of the dinosaur were discovered in the western United States and date back to the late Jurassic period. The enormous body and structure of Diplodocus highlights the possibility that it intimidated predators such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus with which they probably shared a habitat.

Scientific classification

The genus Diplodocus comes from the family diplodocid and under-family Diplodocinae where members are massive but meager compared to other sauropods, although they all had long necks, long tails and a horizontal posture. It includes confirmed species of Diplodocus Diplodocus carnegii and Diplodocus hallorum while unconfirmed species include Diplodocus longus and Diplodocus lacustris . Most of the discoveries of these species occurred between 1878 and 1924 in the Morrison Formations of Colorado, Utah, Montana and Wyoming.

Physical description

Diplodocus was a huge animal and is estimated to be the size of four mature elephants. Diplodocus carnegii and Diplodocus hallorum remain the longest and largest dinosaurs that have ever existed as they measured lengths up to 82 and 105 feet and weights up to 18 and 125 short tons respectively. So far, there have been no skulls or Diplodocus teeth found to give a detailed description, however, on the basis of skulls of other Diplodocids, the Diplodocus probably had a relatively smaller skull than its body and the small teeth they pointed forward. With fifteen vertebrae, the neck was also long, stiff and thinned from the upper part of the trunk towards the head, making its large head proportionally small. The manus was slightly shorter than the strong hind limbs, giving this creature a horizontal position when it moved or grazed. These hands had finger bones and a hand aligned in a vertical semicircular column. Just like other dinosaurs, the bust was short and bulky. The tail was very long and gradually tapered off the bust, forming a whip-like end that paleontologists believe was used for defense and created sound when it swung around. With approximately 80 caudal vertebrae, the lower central part of the tail had mysteriously shaped chevron bones (double rays) that may have acted to protect the tail tissues. the bust was short and voluminous. The tail was very long and gradually tapered off the bust, forming a whip-like end that paleontologists believe was used for defense and created sound when it swung around. With approximately 80 caudal vertebrae, the lower central part of the tail had mysteriously shaped chevron bones (double rays) that may have acted to protect the tail tissues. the bust was short and voluminous. The tail was very long and gradually tapered off the bust, forming a whip-like end that paleontologists believe was used for defense and created sound when it swung around. With approximately 80 caudal vertebrae, the lower central part of the tail had mysteriously shaped chevron bones (double rays) that may have acted to protect the tail tissues.

Paleobiology and Paleoecology

Diplodocus eaten and socialized sporadically and at intervals both day and night (cathemeral). Initially considered a semi-aquatic animal, further studies showed that the Diplodocus was actually a terrestrial animal that drew food from trees, bushes and ferns. Analysis on the neck and chest revealed that this creature probably had a respiratory system similar to an avian. Diplodocus kept its head horizontally towards the body several times but it could raise it to an angle of 45 in case of alert, however, only for a short period. Feeding itself, the Diplodocus undressed the branches with a row of teeth that stabilized and guided as the other stripped stem foliage, moreover, could also feed on terrestrial vegetation. To reproduce, these dinosaurs laid eggs in common in a area and covered them with vegetation. After hatching, juveniles grew rapidly and reached the age of sexual maturity in at least a decade. The Diplodocus lived towards the end of the Jurassic period (154-152 million years ago) in a semi-arid area with a considerable wet season.

 

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