Diplocodcus courtesy of Dmitry Bogdanov, via Wikimedia Commons
The Double Beam Dinosaur
Diplodocus, whose name means “Double Beam,” was first discovered in 1877 by S. W. Williston. Diplodocus lived in the Jurassic which is roughly a 148 to 150 million years ago. Diplodocus may have lived as long as 50 to 80 years. Here are five quick facts about Diplodocus:
- Diplodocus Fact #1: Diplodocus had a whip-tail, which may have been able to break the sound barrier. The tail probably made a whip sound to either scare predators or could have been used for courtship purposes.
- Diplodocus Fact #2: Diplodocus is one of the most on-display dinosaurs in the world, which means it is in many museums. One of the most famous Diplodocus display is a cast in the Natural History Museum in London, England. Affectionately known as Dippy, this replica has been a part of the Natural History Museum since 1905 because of King Edward the VII. He went to visit his friend Andrew Carnegie, saw sketches of a Diplodocus, and loved it so much that he had a replica made. He wanted the real fossils but at the time they told him that’s too hard to find so they made a replica. It has been in the Central Hall where it greets museum visitors since 1979.
- Diplodocus Fact #3: Diplodocus had different teeth from other kinds of plant eating dinosaurs. It had teeth that could strip leaves off instead of biting leaves in clumps. Because its teeth were made for stripping, not necessarily for chewing, it also had to swallow stones to help digest its food. It also had the ability to re-grow teeth quickly.
- Diplodocus Fact #4: For a long time, scientists thought Diplodocus, which was about 90 feet long, was the longest dinosaur to ever have lived. Now a few longer dinosaurs have been found, including Amphicoelias, which may have been more than 190 feet long. However, Diplodocus is known for being one of the most slender dinosaurs.
- Diplodocus Fact #5: Diplodcus was probably cathemeral, which means it napped, walked around, and ate during random intervals of the day and night, throughout its whole life. It did not just sleep at night or through the day.
Learn more about Diplodocus in episode 3 of our podcast.