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Diplodocus Fact Sheet
|NAME:||Meaning - Diplodocus means "Double-beamed"
Pronounced - di-PLOD-o-kus
Named By - Othniel C. Marsh
When Named - 1878
|DIET:||Herbivore (plant-eater). Its main food was probably conifers, which were the dominant plant when the large sauropods lived. Secondary food sources may have included gingkos, seed ferns, cycads, bennettitaleans, ferns, club mosses, and horsetails. Diplodocus had blunt teeth (but only in the front of the jaws), useful for stripping foliage (leaves).|
|SIZE:||Length - 90 feet (27 m) long
Height - 16 ft (5 m) tall at the hips
Weight - 10-20 tons
|WHEN IT LIVED:||Late Jurassic period, about 155-145 million years ago|
|WHERE IT LIVED:||Many Diplodocus fossils have been found in the Rocky Mountains of the western USA (in Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming).|
|FOSSILS:||The first Diplodocus fossil was found by Earl Douglass and Samuel W. Williston in 1877. Many Diplodocus fossils have been found, including a skin impression.|
|Diplodocus had a 26 foot (8 m) long neck and a 45 foot (14 m) long, whip-like tail. Its head was less than 2 feet long and its nostrils were at the top of the head. The front legs were shorter than its back legs, and all legs had elephant-like, five-toed feet. One toe on each foot had a thumb claw, probably for protection.
It used to be thought that the sauropods (like Diplodocus) had a second brain. Paleontologists now think that what they thought was a second brain was just an enlargement in the spinal cord in the hip area. This enlargement was larger than the animal's tiny brain.
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