Animal of the world Wiki

Diplodocus lived:155 to 145 million years ago in the Late Jurassic period.

Name: Pronunciation: Meaning: Animal Type: Dietary Type: Size: Weight: Major Fossil Finds:

Diplodocus dip-LOD-oh-kus Double beamed lizard Dinosaur (sauropod) Herbivore - likes ferns Up to 45 metres long Height at hips - up to 5 metres Up to 30 tonnes Rocky Mountains, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado

Evidence Five near complete skeletons of Diplodocus have been uncovered but the skull has always been missing. Skulls from partial skeletons have been used to complete the reconstruction. So far four distinct species have been identified from fossils in the Morrison Formation in Colorado and Wyoming.

Diplodocus was a "lizard-hipped" dinosaur. It was a sauropod, a group which were especially abundant in the Late Jurassic period. Diplodocus had simple peg-like teeth for stripping soft foliage like ferns but it could not chew. It swallowed stones which it held in its stomach. These gastroliths, as they are called, helped by grinding down the plant material.

Diplodocus was the longest of the land animals but not the heaviest. Much of its length was taken up with its strong whip-like tail. It had a brain the size of a fist. It had a concentration of nerves in the base of its spine. This helped it to cope with it's enormous size, and control its hind legs and tail.

The largest Diplodocus is usually noted as being 15 tonnes and 27 metres long. A huge animal called Seismosaurus was found in New Mexico and many palaeontologists believe it is really an old Diplodocus. It weighed 30 tonnes and was 45 metres long.