Diplodocus: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about diplodocus, one of the largest of the dinosaurs.

  • The huge diplodocus lived from about 154 to 150 million years ago in what is now the western US. The bones are among the most common of dinosaur fossils.
  • The diplodocus was often over 175 feet in length, longer than 4 school buses, making it one of the largest of all dinosaurs. It could weigh up to 20 tons and had huge, thick legs.
  • The tail of the species could be up to 45 feet long. It was probably able to swing it backwards and forwards to ward off predators, and it may have also been used for stability.
  • The jaw muscles of the diplodocus were very weak. It had no teeth in the sides of its jaws, although it had teeth in the front of its mouth.
  • Because it was so large, the diplodocus had to eat a lot of food every day. Although it ate mostly moss and leaves, it could reach branches up to 30 feet off the ground.
  • The creature’s neck and tail were so large that they took up most of the body. The tail consisted of 80 vertebrae, while the long neck had 15 vertebrae.
  • It is thought that diplodocus traveled in herds, moving to another place when food ran out.
  • The name diplodocus has nothing to do with the creature’s size. Rather, it means ‘double beam’ referring to the bones on the underside of the tail.
  • The wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie donated diplodocus skeletons to several museums. These include natural history museums in London, Paris, Berlin and Mexico City.
  • Early skeletons of diplodocus caused a lot of excitement because of their size. The skeleton in Pittsburgh’s Natural History Museum was named Dippy and became quite famous.

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