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There are many different types of these gigantic, long-necked creatures. These are Diplodocus, the longest of them all.
— Allen, on Diplodocus
in Time of the Titans

Diplodocus (name meaning "Double Beam") is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur that originated during the Late Jurassic period in what is now western North America. Measuring 27 meters in length and weighing as much as 25 tons, though the oldest individuals could attain a size of over 40 meters in length, Diplodocus is acknowledged as being among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs and perhaps the longest known sauropod that ever walked the Earth.

One of the primary animals for the park, a small herd of six Diploducus were brought back to the park from the Late Jurassic period in Colorado of 150 million years ago. They reside in the Sauropod Savannah enclosure of the park.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

Diplodocus lived in western North America during the Late Jurassic Era from 165–145 million years ago. One of the largest terrestrial animals of the Jurassic, Diplodocus shared its environment with small dinosaurs, large dinosaurs, and even other sauropods. They were often attacked and preyed upon by Allosaurus.

The first skeleton of Diplodocus was found at Cañon City, Colorado, by Benjamin Mudge and Samuel Wendell Williston in 1877, and was named Diplodocus longus ('long double-beam'), by paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh in 1878.

Physical AttributesEdit

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Full Grown Diplodocus

While they may not have been the largest, Diplodocus is known for having been the longest of all sauropod dinosaurs ever discovered. On average, Diplodocus measured 90 feet (27 m) long and weighed 25 tons (50,000 lbs). However, some older specimens were discovered to have measured over 130–171 feet (40–52 m) in length and weighed 125 tons (250,000 lbs). They used their stiff, however, very strong necks to graze over large areas with little effort. To balance their necks, they possessed very long tails with elegant whip-like ends they were used for communication between members of the herd.

  • A baby Diplodocus, or "Saouropodlet"
  • Juvenile Diplodocus
  • Fully Grown Adult Diplodocus
When they were newly hatched, they weighed no more than a few kilograms. Therefore, they would have to grow one ton every year until they became adults. That's an astonishing 2–3 kilograms a single day. When faced with danger the hatchlings, these baby Diplodocus, or "Sauropodlets", stood very still and depended on their camouflage for protection.

After a year would go by, baby Diplodocus could already measure over 10 feet (3 m) in length and weigh half a ton, as much as a full-grown horse. And they stuck together with others in a crèche for safety. After five years, Diplodocus can measure over 40 feet (12 m) long and weigh over 5 tons (10,000 lbs.). They also developed the spines and long whipped tails of adulthood. Diplodocus could reach full grown adult size in around 10 years. Diplodocus could have lived for at least a full century and once over a certain size, they had no natural predators, not even adult Allosaurus.

Each adult Diplodocus dropped over a ton of dung on the prairie every day. Their teeth were more suited for soft, green leaves rather than woody branches. One of the reasons Diplodocus was so massive is that it allowed them to have an extremely long gut which allows them to digest even the toughest of Jurassic vegetation. Like the ancient reptile Scutosaurus, about 100 million years earlier, whole leaves passed into the Diplodocus guts where stones they had swallowed helped grind their food down so that bacteria fermented it and released nutrients. It was a process that produced a lot of excessive gas.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

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Diplodocus herd

Like many herbivores, Diplodocus lived and traveled in herds for protection, with as many as 30–100 or more individuals in a single herd. Diplodocus herds contained a wide range of members, from adolescents that measured 12 meters long to gigantic and considerable aged adults that were well over three times their size. A large herd of dinosaurs like Diplodocus on the move attracted a variety of smaller animals, like Dryosaurus and Othnielia but also small pterosaurs like Anurognathus.

As Diplodocus ate and trampled the vegetation, insects swarmed around them. When Diplodocus were newly hatched, they usually rested for an instant and then, along with other hatchlings, headed for the deep forest as fast as their legs could carry them. After hatching, for the next few months, they needed the cover of the deep forests and their only chance of survival was to hide from predators among the vegetation. They hid beneath a dense layer of ferns and started their life-long obsession with eating.

  • Diplodocus males rocking back on their tails
  • Fighting Diplodocus
During mating season, the Diplodocus males rocked back on their tails, virtually standing upright, to impress potential females. Occasionally, fights broke out. With creatures their size, the forces of work during these confrontations were colossal –– enough so to shatter ribs and shake the ground.

Diplodocus were capable of living for a hundred years and above a certain size, they had no natural predators, not even Allosaurus. Even a sick and exhausted Diplodocus is a fearsome adversary. However, a pack of Allosaurus would be able to take on a Diplodocus. And a single fully grown adult Diplodocus would be a large enough meal for weeks to come.

Journal EntryEdit

Of all the sauropod dinosaurs, Diplodocus ("Double Beam", in reference to the double-beamed chevron bones from its tail) is the longest that ever lived. Though adults, on average, measured over 90 ft. long at maximum and weighed more than 22000 kilograms, some larger and older adults grew to reach 130 ft. long. Additionally, muck like crocodilians, Diplodocus could live for over a full century, assuming they aren't killed by predators.

Living in large herds, these sauropods were able to defend themselves and their young from attack, especially using their long necks and long tails. Like many modern creatures as well as other sauropods, when feeding, Diplodocus could not chew. Therefore, they swallowed stones into their stomach, which was to help break down their food for digestion. During mating season, the males rocked back on their tails to impress mates. And when fights between males were brought out, these large dinosaurs were able to cause tremors.

When laying eggs, much like some turtles, female Diplodocus possessed a sort of "egg tube", which extended from their body, allowing the eggs to gently slide to the ground. Once the eggs hatched, the group of hatchling diplodocus, or creche, stuck to the safety of the forest for at least the first 5 years of their lives. Once they were large enough, they ventured out into the open areas to join an adult herd.

— Allen, in his Journal, about Diplodocus

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Diplodocus was the longest sauropod brought to the park.
  • The sound effects of Diplodocus are of blue whale calls as well as elephant, camel, and a llama.
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