The longest dinosaur known for many years, the Diplodocus had a giraffe-like neck, a long tail and a colossal presence. This massive sauropod was one of the most prominent animals in its food chain.

Key Facts

Diplodocus pronunciationDuh-Plaa-Duh-Kuhs
What does Diplodocus mean?Double beam
Dinosaur typeSauropod
On the menuHerbivorous
Length27 meters (89 feet)
Height5 meters (16 feet)
Weight15 tons (about 30,000 lbs)
Life expectancy70-80 years
Legs used to get aroundQuadrupedal
Estimated top speed24 km/h (15 mph)
When they livedLate Jurassic era 161-146 million years ago
Where they have been found?North America

When & Where

In 1877, Benjamin Mudge and Samuel Wendell Williston collected a very incomplete specimen at a quarry near Cañon City, Colorado. The fossils were sent to the professor of paleontology at Yale University, Othniel Charles Marsh, who named the specimen Diplodocus longus. During this time, Marsh was in a competition, aptly named “Bone Wars”, with another paleontologist, Edward Drinker Cope, to collect as many fossils as possible. 

Size & Weight

A close relative of the dinosaurs Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus, the Diplodocus had a very similar skeletal structure to the two. Typical of sauropods, they were very large. The Diplodocus had a length of 27 meters and weighed about 15 tons. For a long time, they were the longest dinosaurs known.

Mobility & Diet

Like other large sauropods, the Diplodocus was cold-blooded and plodding. They had an estimated top speed of 24 km/h. They were herbivorous, feeding on various Jurassic plants.

Interesting Points

  • The Diplodocus lived approximately 150 million years ago in North America.
  • Like other sauropods, they were herbivorous.
  • It is one of the most easily identifiable dinosaurs thanks to its typical sauropod shape.