Awesomely Accurate II – Diplodocidae

My second in a series of posts comes to rest on the most recognizable family of sauropods, where the genus “Brontosaurus” came to rest. Many specimens of diplodocids are known, with only a few including skulls.

Accuracy points for diplodocids:

  • diplodocids all had thick necks, and no bone shapes could be seen on a healthy individual.
  • they only had one manual claw, on the innermost digit.
  • their feet only had three claws, the largest on the innermost digit.
  • they could not chew food, there teeth were specifically designed to strip leaves off thin branches.
  • no skull fenestrae should be visible, these were filled with muscle.
  • diplodocid hands may or may not have flipped back.
  • nostrils were either high on the head at the opening, or down at the snout.
  • even though diplodocids have been found with scale impressions, these are from the anterior tail and might not have covered the entire body.
  • only ear holes were visible behind the skull, and the eye should be less than half the diameter of the orbit.
  • diplodocids have not been shown to have had lips, in fact one study concluded that they were not there, but cheeks are likely.
  • no, diplodocids did not have trunks.
  • it is possible that diplodocids followed the derived titanosaurian walking pattern, shifting weight one side at a time, moving both feet on one side at a time.

Our accurate diplodocid illustrations:

Apatosaurus by Dimtry Bogdanov, CC Zero and on Wikimedia Commons.

Apatosaurus louisae by Dimtry Bogdanov, CC Zero

Apatosaurus by "Durbed", CC-BY-SA 3.0

Apatosaurus louisae by “Durbed”, CC-BY-SA 3.0

Diplodocus by Jordan Mallon, CC-BY-SA 2.5

Diplodocus by Jordan Mallon, CC-BY-SA 2.5

Diplodocus by Dmitry Bogdanov, CC-BY 3.0

Diplodocus carnegii by Dmitry Bogdanov, CC-BY 3.0

Diplodocus longus by Dmitry Bogdanov, CC-BY 3.0

Diplodocus longus by Dmitry Bogdanov, CC-BY 3.0

Supersaurus by Mariana Villarreal, CC Zero

Supersaurus by Mariana Villarreal, CC Zero

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About ijreid

I am an amateur palaeontologist thats hobbies include studying extinct amniotes, specifically dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. Occasionally, I focus my time on detailed and accurate illustrations of dinosaurs, and I have completed drawings of Dysalotosaurus, Micropachycephalosaurus, Zhuchengtyrannus, Troodon, Eotyrannus, Europelta, and Achillobator. I do not believe in copyrights, and think that the world would be better if everything was open access.
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