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Home > Diplodocus

ABOUT DIPLODOCUS. Diplodocus was a plant-eating, Sauropod dinosaur that lived during the Late Jurassic period. Its name ("double beam") is derived from a feature of its powerful but hollow backbone: a group of specialized nerves found in the base of the backbone helped to control movement of the dinosaur’s back legs and tail.

Most Diplodocus fossils have been found in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado. Adult specimens could grow to 100+ ft. long, weigh from 10-20 tons, and stand 16 ft. high at hip level.

The teeth were peg-like and only found clustered together in the front of the mouth. Diplodocus ate by using the teeth to strip leaves off of plants. The plant material was swallowed whole, without chewing. Stomach stones called gastroliths then aided in digestion.

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Excavating Straight Arrow Diplodocus A true 'long neck'. Diplodocus' neck was over 20 feet in length, with 13-15 long, narrow cervical vertebrae. However, the head was surprisingly small, measuring only about 2 feet long – similar in size to a horse’s head. 

Diplodocus cervical (neck) vertebra

(left) Excavating Straight Arrow Diplodocus

Diplodocus' flexible tail

Tall vertebrae. Diplodocus’ tail was up to 45 feet long and quite flexible. It has been speculated that Diplodocus may have defended itself by using its tail like a whip. Other scientists believe the long tail worked as a counterbalance for the dinosaur's long, extended neck.

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