Dicraeosaurus

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Dicraeosaurus
Temporal range: Upper Jurassic
155–150 mya
Dicraeosaurus skeleton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropodomorpha
Family: Dicraeosauridae
Genus: Dicraeosaurus

Dicraeosaurus was a small sauropod that had some physical differences from the rest of the family. It was named for the spines on the back of the neck. In general, sauropods had long necks and tails, skinny bodies and limbs, and tiny brains and heads. They were light in comparison with the brachiosaurs, because their vertebrae were a lattice of bony struts, used to reduce weight and take maximum stress. The family Dicraeosaurus was in had shorter tails, larger heads and longer neural spines along their neck and back.

Fossils of Dicraeosaurus have been found in the rocks of Tendaguru Hill in Tanzania. The rocks also yield fossils of Giraffatitan and Kentrosaurus. As there was a distinct difference in size between these animals, they would probably have browsed for vegetation at different levels, allowing them to co-exist without significant competition. The first fossil of Dicraeosaurus was discovered in 1914.