Diplodocus

diplodocus (9)

Distribution:

Diplodocus roamed what is now North America.

Time period

They existed during Jurassic period from 154-152 million years ago which was the second segment of the Mesozoic Era. During this time reptiles were the dominant animals of the planet and some of the largest dinosaur species to ever live existed during this period. Birds and mammals also developed during the Jurassic period.

Size:

This dinosaur reached a huge 25m (82ft) long and 5m (17ft) high, weighing 13 metric tons.

Diet:

They were herbivores which could strip leaves from the highest branches thanks to their long necks.

Interesting facts:

Diplodocus is one of the best known sauropods (long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs) and its name means ‘double beam’. They are called this because of the two rows of bones on the underside of their tails. They balanced their enormous necks by holding their tails in the air which was only possible because of that bone structure. Their tails may have been used as whips to defend themselves and the sound of this would have sounded like a cannon boom. They could also have used this to scare off rivals, attract mates and to communicate with.

They could easily have reared up on their hind legs to strip leaves higher in the trees and so benefited from being capable of reaching both higher and lower food sources. This ability would have been very important because herds of diplodocus would have needed to eat unimaginably large amounts of leaves to survive, so being able to reach leaves on lots of different levels would have helped them to find enough food to survive. Meanwhile, their hearts would have had to weigh up to one and a half metric tons (roughly the same amount as a large giraffe weighs) in order to pump blood all the way up their long necks to their brains.