The Diplodocus, One of the Longest Dinosaurs Ever
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The Diplodocus, One of the Longest Dinosaurs Ever

Diplodocus is a large sauropod that lived 154 to 150 million years ago. They lived exclusively in what is now western North America.

Diplodocus is a large sauropod that lived 154 to 150 million years ago. They lived exclusively in what is now western North America. Until twenty years ago, Diplodocus was believed to be the longest dinosaur to ever live on Earth; today, we know there were several longer. The name Diplodocus is Greek for “Double Beam”, which relates to the size of the dinosaur and the large amounts of vertebrae it has.

Diplodocus are one of the better known dinosaurs due to the large amount of their skeletons that have been found and displayed in museums over the years. From 1877 to 1924 numerous Diplodocus skeletons were found and put on display for the pubic to enjoy. Diplodocus skeletons were so numerous they were considered a common find. However, the head of the Diplodocus was barely ever found, and even today is considered rare. The first Diplodocus skeleton was found in Colorado by Benjamin Mudge and Samuel Williston in 1877. The large majority of Diplodocus skeletons were found in Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming.

From the Diplodocus skeletons, scientists are able to tell that these dinosaurs were an average of 114 feet long, although some larger specimens could have reached lengths close to 180 feet long. Most scientists believe they would have weighed 12-17 tons, but some believe they could have been closer to 50 tons. They had large sturdy legs that supported their tremendously long bodies; they almost looked like a suspension bridge. They had both incredibly long neck and tails, with their tails accounting for about 20-30% of their overall length. Their tails were used to counterbalance their long necks and to defend themselves from predators and rival Diplodocus.

Like all sauropods, Diplodocus were herbivores. As they were so large it would have been extremely difficult for them to eat ground laying vegetation, so scientists believe they would of eaten the leaves from tall trees. Diplodocus lived in herds ranging from 10-20 in size, and could have stripped a trees clean of leaves in mere minutes and a small forest in just a couple of hours. As they were so big, they had very few predators; their most common predator was the Allosaurus. Small groups of 4-5 Allosaurus would work together to take down one Diplodocus, the fight would be long and bloody, and most often at least one or two of the Allosaurus were badly injured or killed in the fight.

Like all the dinosaurs, Diplodocus was an amazing creature. Their sheer size is mind-blowing; it is hard to imagine a creature longer than a blue whale walking this planet.

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