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Diplodocus was a 30 meter long, 10-20 tonne sauropod dinosaur from the late Jurassic time period (165 - 145 MYA) that lived on the territory of the modern Western United States.

Facts

Diplodocus was one of, if not, the longest/largest sauropod animals ever to live. Seismosaurus, a synonym of Diplodocus, was 39m long on average, making it one of the longest animal that has ever existed, rivaled only by Supersaurus and Argentinosaurus. Other potential Diplodocus specimens, as Seismosaurus, were 15 meters longer, making Diplodocus perhaps one of the longest dinosaurs ever.

WWD1x2 DiplodocusBaby

A Diplodocus baby. (Time of the Titans)

When they are newly hatched, they usually rest for an instant and then, along with other hatchlings, head for the deep forest as fast as their legs can carry them. After hatching, for the next few months, they need the cover of the deep forests and their only chance of survival will be to hide to predators among the vegetation. They hide beneath a dense layer of ferns and start their life-long obsession with eating. When they are newly hatched, they only weigh a few kilograms. But they will have to grow by one ton a year until their adults. That’s an astonishing 2-3 kilograms a day. When faced with danger the hatchlings, baby Diplodocus, or “sauropodlets”, lie very still and depend on their camouflage for protection.

After a year goes by, baby Diplodocus can measure over three-meters long and weigh as much as a full-grown horse. And they stick together with others in a creche for safety.

After five years, Diplodocus can measure twelve meters long and weigh over five tons. They also developed the spines and long whipped tails of adulthood. These creatures can reach full grown adult size in less than 10 years.

WWD1x2 MaleDiplodocusFighting

Two male Diplodocus fighting. (Time of the Titans)

At full length, Diplodocus are known for being the longest of all sauropods. For protection, they move in herds of 100 or more and the most full-grown adults would be over 30 meters in length. They have long tails with elegant whip-like ends they are used for communication between members of the herd. Such a huge herd on the move attracts an array of small animals. As they eat and trample the vegetation, insects swarm around them. Each adult Diplodocus drops over a ton of dung on the prairie every day. Their teeth are more suited for soft, green leaves rather than woody branches. One of the reasons these creatures are so massive is that it allows them to have and extremely long gut which allows them to digest even the toughest of Jurassic vegetation. Like the Scutosaurus some hundred million years before these sauropods, whole leaves pass into the Diplodocus’ guts where stones they have swallowed help grind their food down so that bacteria ferment it and release nutrients. It is a process that produces a lot of excess gas. Diplodocus herds can contain a range of members, from 12-metered-long adolescents to gigantic old adults…three times their size.

Appearances in the programmes

Walking with Dinosaurs

Time of the Titans

WWD1x2 DiplodocusJoinsHerd

A female Diplodocus rejoins the herd. (Time of the Titans)

Diplodocus was one of the main focus of the episode. A female Diplodocus is seen laying a clutch of football-sized eggs in the middle of a forest before leaving to join the rest of the traveling herd.

The clutch of eggs was discovered by an Ornitholestes. Whilst feeding on the dead babies, several surviving baby Diplodocus emerge from underneath the ground. Fortunately for the Diplodocus, the Ornitholestes was too busy eating the already killed babies. One female sauropodlet had to rest but then joined the rest of the babies scurrying to the safety of denser forest. When they found somewhere to hide, they began eating the ferns on the forest floor - a habit that will be important for the rest of their lives. As an Ornitholestes passed by, the sauropodlets lay motionless to avoid being noticed. That time it worked, but all too often the sharp-eyed predator got its meal.

It then cut to a herd of adult Diplodocus roaming the Jurassic plains. They began feeding whilst flocks of Anurognathus began feeding, fighting and breeding on the giants. As the giants defaecate on the prairies, the dung beetles come in.

WWD1x2 BabyDiplodocusInCanyon

The creche of baby Diplodocus in a canyon. (Time of the Titans)

The creche of juvenile Diplodocus are browsing in a canyon until a large male Stegosaurus came to feed. The Stegosaurus attracted the attention of two Allosaurus nearby. The creche flees from the Allosaurus but one of the sauropodlets is killed. They flee past the Stegosaurus who swings its tail at one of the sauropodlets and accidentally kills it. When the sauropodlets found safety, they began eating again. The female sauropodlet finds the skeleton of a large adult Diplodocus. After the creche realizes that they are at the edge of the forest, they move into deeper forest.

An adult herd of Diplodocus are seen knocking down trees so that they could eat the ferns in-between them. Whilst doing so, they pass gas.

The members of the creche now were looking more like adult Diplodocus, and were still in the forest feeding whilst Anurognathus cling to them. They move to a river and start drinking but they catch the scent of smoke - a sign of a forest fire. The creche flees but due to their large size, they can only walk away and the fire kills all but three of them. After the forest fire, the creche which is now down to two move out onto open prairies where they travel with a Brachiosaurus.

WWD1x2 DiplodocusAttackedByAllosaurus

A Diplodocus being attacked by an Allosaurus. (Time of the Titans)

The creche began drinking in a lake until they saw a herd of adult Diplodocus. The creche joins the herd.

Five years later, the creche is now part of the herd. They then stop to breed. Two males clash in order to win dominance. A young male approached the female Diplodocus. Using infrasound, the female told the male that she was receptive. The male mounts the female. A couple of days later the herd had calmed and the female feeds on ferns outside the herd. However, she is being watched by a pair of Allosaurus. One chases her and leaps onto her side. The female knocks him off and flees. The other Allosaurus pursues her. She tries to make herself look bigger but nothing works. Suddenly, the long tail of a larger Diplodocus hits the Allosaurus and saves the female. She then rejoins the herd and travel ever further.

The Ballad of Big Al

BA DiplodocusHerdScattering

A herd of Diplodocus being chased by a pack of Allosaurus. (The Ballad of Big Al)

Diplodocus appears as a major creature in the special. A large herd of Diplodocus are traveling across a salt pan whilst being followed by a pack of Allosaurus including Big Al. The pack targets an old and sick individual. Big Al and his pack start running towards the herd, causing them to scatter. As the Diplodocus run in all directions, the Allosaurus start attacking the sick Diplodocus. Big Al attempts to attack it but is knocked down by the Diplodocus. The pack of Allosaurus decide to wait for the Diplodocus to succumb to its injuries. Later during the day, heat exhaustion and the illness the Diplodocus has, it died and the Allosaurs come in to feast.

Chased by Dinosaurs

Diplodocus, along with several other dinosaurs, appeared in the opening titles in the scene where they surround Nigel Marven.

Sea Monsters

Diplodocus appears on Nigel's time map.

Walking with Dinosaurs: Inside Their World

Diplodocus is one of the dinosaurs featured in this app.

Wonderbook: Walking with Dinosaurs

Diplodocus appears in the third chapter of the wonderbook video game.

Appearances In Other Media

Horizon

Red more at the Extreme Dinosaurs Wiki

In the episode "Extreme Dinosaurs", the model for Diplodocus was recolored and used for Argentinosaurus.

The Lost World (2001)

Its WWD/SM model is reused for the miniseries.

Jurassic Park

Read more at the Jurassic Park Wiki

Trivia

Promotional Images

Walking with Dinosaurs

The Ballad of Big Al

Dinosaur Gallery

WWD:ITW

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