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: