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Diplodocus - Dinosaur Found in 1899

Diplodocus - Dinosaur Found in 1899 Geography Social Studies STEM Visual Arts World History

Diplodocus was a massive dinosaur which ate plants.  It had a really long tail which served as a counter-balance to its really long neck.

In a way, its name helps to explain how it appears:  "Double Beam."

Paleontologists believe that Diplodocus may have had an average life span of 50-80 years.  They lived during the late Jurassic Period.

The most complete Diplodocus fossil ever found dates back to 1899.  It was discovered in North America at the Morrison Formation.  (The Morrison Formation is centered in Colorado and Wyoming but also has outcrops in many additional states:

Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.  It is named for Morrison, Colorado where Arthur Lakes found fossilized remains of Stegosaurus armatus and Apatosaurus ajax [also once known as Brontosaurus] in 1877.)

Because of this find, Diplodocus became the most-celebrated dinosaur of the early 20th century.  People around the world were able to see casts made from the original fossilized remains and were stunned by this creature's size.

To get an idea of how big it really was, think about it this way.  If Diplodocus were able to stand on its hind legs, it could reach the 6th floor of a skyscraper!  (Experts differ if that were really possible, however.)

Here's something really interesting about the way Diplodocus likely processed its food.  Its teeth were really great for stripping vegetation but not that great for chewing.  So ... paleontologists think this huge creature may have had to swallow "several pounds of stones in an effort to crush undigested plants."

Can you imagine?

When Andrew Carnegie - a Scot (born in Dunfermline) who moved to America and became one of the wealthiest people in the world (with a mansion in New York and a castle in Scotland) - gave a replica of the Morrison-Formation fossils to King Edward VII, people in Britain named the creature "Dippy."  His home is the Natural History Museum in London.

This image depicts the original fossilized remains, found in 1899 and mounted thereafter, which is maintained at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. 


Media Credits

Postcard image of the Diplodocus mount at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

PD (due to expired copyright).

 

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"Diplodocus - Dinosaur Found in 1899" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Mar 23, 2019.
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