Category: Dinosaur

Diplodocus (Dip-low-doe-cus), "Double Beam", lived in the Late Jurassic of North America. One of the longest land animals ever known, although now outranked by giants such as Argentinosaurus and others, Diplodocus gets its name from the middle tail bones which had fore and aft bony skids that protected the blood vessels. It was the second most common sauropod in the Morrison formation.



Genera and Species

Classification: Sauropoda, Diplodocidae

Species: D. longus, D. carnegii, D. hallorum, D. hayi, D. lacustris.


Diplodocus skin impressions indicate that it had a row of spines down its back. It had a long slender build, for a sauropod with the hind limbs longer than the front. The tail was long like a whip and carried above the ground. Older reconstructions had the tail dragging but these were not validated by the fossil track ways that show foot prints but no drag marks for the tail.


LENGTH: 27 m (88 ft).

WEIGHT: 10 - 16 tons.


It could probably move its lower jaw backwards and forwards, possibly to allow a greater gape and aid in stripping foliage from branches during browsing. It was a low to medium browser that may have been able to use its tail to rear up in a tripod stance.

History of Discovery

Discovered Marsh, 1878 and known from virtually the entire skeleton is known from including skulls, along with partial skeletons and hundreds of isolated bones.


Found in North America (Utah and Colorado USA) in semi arid plains with forested rivers with a short rainy season.


  1. Paul, G. (2010). The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs (pp. 4382). Princeton, New Jersey: University Press Princeton.

  2. Worth, G. (1999). The Dinosaur Encyclopaedia (pp. 806). Scarborough, Western Australia: HyperWorks Reference Software.