Diplodocus is considered the class of diplodocid sauropod dinosaurs in the group of gigantic dinosaurs that was discovered by S.W. Williston in 1877. However, the generic name was coined by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1878 due to the double-beamed chevron bones located in the underside of the tail that was considered the distinctive attribute that separates them from other dinosaurs. Further, the genus of Diplodocus fossils lived in Mid-western North America at the end of the Jurassic period. After thorough research, we found that the Dinosaurs lived between 154 and 152 million years ago, around the late Kimmeridgian Age.
Diplodocus dinosaurs are found in large numbers around North America. The Morrison Formation records an environment dominated by gigantic sauropod dinosaurs such as Barosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Brontosaurus, Camarasaurus, and Apatosaurus. In addition to that, these dinosaurs are a deterrent to the predators like Ceratosaurus and Allosaurus that coexisted with Diplodocus. Further, Diplodocus bones can be the most easily identifiable with striking attributes of long necks and tails, identifiable dinosaurs, sauropod shape, and four sturdy legs.
Quick Facts About Diplodocus Dinosaur
- The term 'Diplodocus' was derived from the Greek term 'diplos,' which means double, and 'beam.' Therefore, theDiplodocus dinosaur is considered the dinosaur with the double chevron beams in the tail.
- These chevron beams in the tail of the Diplodocus are thick enough to be used as a defense in combat.
- These dinosaurs used to be 25 meters long and weighed up to 14 metric tons.
- Further, Diplodocus fossilshave an astonishing 80 caudal vertebrae in the tail to make the tail really thicker than other sauropods.
- These dinosaurs have larger front teeth than other sauropods that work claw for the thin stripping.
The Anatomy Of Diplodocus Dinosaur
The anatomy of Diplodocus fossils has yet to be perfectly known because of their size. However, these predators are recognized mainly due to the chevron-bone structure that goes up to 10 inches. These reptiles were among the largest known dinosaurs having a height of 23-27 meters and a weight of up to 12-15 metric tons. Further, they used to have forelimbs and comparatively shorter hind limbs. The extremely long tail of Diplodocus has around 80 caudal vertebrae. There were some speculations that these dinosaurs used tails as a form of defense for combat. Also, these tails have noisemaking-like tactile functions.
Diplodocus fossils may have provided support for vertebrae that prevented the blood vessels from being crushed if the tail was pressed against the ground. According to the research on Diplodocus fossils, paleontologists have predicted that the bones of the front feet of the gigantic predator were arranged into a vertical column with a horse-shoe shape in a cross-section. These used to have only one claw on the front limb that was generally larger than other sauropods flattened from side to side. They used to have detached bones in their hands, forming claws whose function is still unknown. Diplodocid skin impressions had pointed, narrow, and keratinous spines quite similar to present-day iguanas.
Evolutionary History And Discovery of Diplodocus Dinosaur
The first evidence of Diplodocus Fossils was found by the famous paleontologists Samuel Wendell Williston and Benjamin Mudge in 1877 near Canyon city in Colorado. The first specimen was incomplete and only had caudal vertebrae in fragments with the Chevron that were found in the tail. However, paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh named the same specimen as Diplodocus longus in the Yale Peabody Museum. Marsh named Diplodocus during the bone wars to collect as many fossils as possible.
They were secondly founded by Henry Osburn and Barnum Brown in 1897 for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. They help in discovering the correct genus of the Diplodocus bones. The skeleton preserved in the museum has two sternal ribs, a partial pelvis, a right femur, a partial pelvis, and a right scapulocoracoid.
The Behaviour And Diet Of Diplodocus Dinosaur
Diplodocines have highly unusual teeth compared to other sauropods. The crowns are slender, long, and elliptical in cross-section, forming a triangular point. But unraveling this great mystery, this is not the prominent facial attribute of the Diplodocus dinosaur. They used to have wear patterns on the cheek side of both lower and upper teeth. It implies the feeding behavior of the sauropod is 360 degrees different. Unilateral branch stripping is the Diplodocus's feeding behavior, meaning their main diet was primarily plant-based. The strip foliage requires one from the stem, while the other acts as the periorbital region of the skull that works as a stabilizer or guide.
Paleoecology Of Diplodocus Dinosaur
The radiometric dating ranges between 156.3 million years to 146.8 million years old at the top at the early Tithonian stages of the Late Jurassic period. Paleoecology of Diplodocus fossils shows that these creatures lived in shallow marine and alluvial sediments. Thus, paleontologists formed a semi-arid environment with dry and distinct seasons to catch the essence of the environment in which these dinosaurs used to live. Further, they used to live around the river basin for their diet. Thus, you will find many dinosaurs and their precursors' bones in the rocky basins. According to the research, scientists have speculated that dinosaurs used to live in lakes, river channels, swampy lowlands, and floodplains.
The Extinction Event Of The Diplodocus Dinosaur
Diplodocus dinosaurs became extinct around 18 million years ago. They used to coexist with the animals living in the late Kimmeridgian Age. Further, Diplodocus fossils project that they died out in a mysterious event in the late Jurassic era. It may be because of meteor showers or the Chicxulub crater that wiped out most of the Jurassic dinosaurs of that time.
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