|1st Species||Diplodocus carnegii|
|2nd Species||Diplodocus hallorum|
|Time Range||154-150 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||Double beam|
|Physical Dimensions||27 meters long for D.carnegii; 31.6 meters long for D.hallorum|
|Weight||12.4 tonnes for D.carnegii; 20 tonnes for D.hallorum|
Diplodocus is a diplodocid sauropod sauropodomorph dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of the United States of America. It was named in 1878 by Othniel Charles Marsh. It was one of the longest sauropods to walk the earth, as well as one of the most studied.
Diplodocus bore a passing resemblance to its close cousin, Brontosaurus, with a bulky body, 4 large, erect, pillar-like legs (with one large claw on each hand and 3 clawed toes on each foot), an extremely long, whip-like tail, a long neck, and a small head. However, unlike Brontosaurus, it had a more slender build, and its tail was considerably longer than that of its apatosaurine relative. Its body would have been covered in scaly skin, with a row of spines running down its back.
Diplodocus was an herbivore, primarily feeding on ferns, cycads, horsetails, and leaves, but also snacking on algae from time to time. Its peg-like teeth were used to strip branches of their leaves, and its long neck would have helped it reach plants further away from its body.
Like Brontosaurus, Diplodocus was thought to be a swamp-dwelling herbivore, constantly feeding on algae and seaweed knee-deep in water; however, recent findings have confirmed that it spent 95% of its time on land, feeding on ground plants such as ferns, cycads, horsetails, and trees (when feeding on the latter, it would rear up and use its peg-like teeth to strip their branches of all their leaves). For a massive sauropod, it had light bones and huge, air-filled body cavities; combined with an avian respiratory system, this would have allowed it to breathe normally. As well as this, Diplodocus' neck was thought to be flexible enough to hold its head at an extreme height off the ground, right before being theorized to be incapable of moving from a horizontal position; however, due to the latest studies, it is now assumed that Diplodocus' neck was still somewhat flexible. A comparison of its sclerotic rings to those of modern reptiles and birds indicates that it was cathemeral.
In popular cultureEdit
Diplodocus was first introduced to the public through its display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, as well as its numerous skeletal replicas. Since then, it has gained a large amount of attention in Western Europe (most noticeably France and the United Kingdom), in contrast to the United States' Brontosaurus. As well as this, it appeared in major pieces of media such as Fantasia, The Land Before Time, and Walking with Dinosaurs; in the very latter, it is depicted with a relatively stiff neck, large, iguana-like spines, and an extreme invulnerability to Allosaurus attacks.