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Temporal range: Middle-Upper Jurassic
170–146 mya
Berlin Diplodocus.jpg
Diplodocus carnegii skeleton cast, Berlin Hauptbahnhof
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
Superorder: Dinosauria
Order: Saurischia
Suborder: Sauropoda
Infraorder: Sauropodomorpha
Family: Diplodocidae

Diplodocids, or members of the family Diplodocidae ("double beams"), are a group of sauropod dinosaurs.[1][2][3] The family includes some of the longest creatures ever to walk the earth, including Diplodocus and Supersaurus, which may have reached lengths of up to 34 metres (112 ft).[4]

With their peg-like teeth they could strip leaves from branches, and leave the grinding to gastroliths. They bacteria in their vast stomachs would break down the cellulose in the leaves, and the product would be absorbed further on in the alimentary canal.

The diplodocids have two sub-families:

  1. Diplodocinae: Diplodocus and other long, slender forms.
  2. Apatosaurinae: Apatosaurus and other stockier types.

Their cousins the brachiosaurs are put into a sister family. The much later titanosaurs were the last group of sauropods on Earth.

References[change | change source]

  1. Holtz, Thomas R. Jr. 2012. Dinosaurs: the most complete, up-to-date encyclopedia for dinosaur lovers of all ages. Winter 2011 Appendix
  2. Gillette D.D. 1996, Stratigraphic position of the sauropod Dystrophaeus viaemalae Cope and its evolutionary implications. In: Morales, Michael (ed) The continental Jurassic. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 60: 59-68.
  3. Taylor M.P. 2010. Sauropod dinosaur research: a historical review. Pp. 361-386 in Moody R.T.J. et al (eds). London: The Geological Society, Special Publication #34.
  4. Lovelace, David M.; Hartman, Scott A.; and Wahl, William R. (2007). "Morphology of a specimen of Supersaurus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Morrison Formation of Wyoming, and a re-evaluation of diplodocid phylogeny". Arquivos do Museu Nacional 65 (4): 527–544.