Diplodocoidea

Diplodocoidea

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Encyclopedia
Diplodocoidea was a superfamily of sauropod dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

s, which included some of the longest animals of all time, including slender giants like Supersaurus
Supersaurus
Supersaurus is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur discovered by Vivian Jones of Delta, Colorado, in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Colorado in 1972. The fossil remains came from the Brushy Basin Member of the formation, dating to about 153 million years ago...

, Diplodocus
Diplodocus
Diplodocus , or )is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur whose fossils were first discovered in 1877 by S. W. Williston. The generic name, coined by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1878, is a Neo-Latin term derived from Greek "double" and "beam", in reference to its double-beamed chevron bones...

, Apatosaurus
Apatosaurus
Apatosaurus , also known by the popular but scientifically deprecated synonym Brontosaurus, is a genus of sauropod dinosaur that lived from about 154 to 150 million years ago, during the Jurassic Period . It was one of the largest land animals that ever existed, with an average length of and a...

, and Amphicoelias
Amphicoelias
Amphicoelias is a genus of herbivorous sauropod dinosaur that includes what may be the largest dinosaur ever discovered, A. fragillimus. Based on surviving descriptions of a single fossil bone, A. fragillimus may have been the longest known vertebrate at in length, and may have had a mass of up...

. Most had very long necks and long, whip-like tails; however, one family (the dicraeosaurids) are the only known sauropods to have re-evolved a short neck, presumably an adaptation for feeding low to the ground. This adaptation was taken to the extreme in the highly specialized sauropod Brachytrachelopan
Brachytrachelopan
Brachytrachelopan is an unusual short-necked sauropod dinosaur from the latest Jurassic Period of Argentina. The holotype and only known specimen was collected from an erosional exposure of fluvial sandstone within the Cañadón Cálcero Formation on a hill approximately 25 km north-northeast...

. A study of snout shape and dental microwear in diplodocoids showed that the square snouts, large proportion of pits, and fine subparallel scratches in Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Nigersaurus, and Rebbachisaurus suggest ground-height nonselective browsing; the narrow snouts of Dicraeosaurus, Suuwassea, and Tornieria and the coarse scratches and gouges on the teeth of Dicraeosaurus suggest mid-height selective browsing in those taxa.

Taxonomy


Infraorder Sauropoda
Sauropoda
Sauropoda , or the sauropods , are an infraorder of saurischian dinosaurs. They had long necks, long tails, small heads , and thick, pillar-like legs. They are notable for the enormous sizes attained by some species, and the group includes the largest animals to have ever lived on land...

  • Superfamily Diplodocoidea
    • Amazonsaurus
      Amazonsaurus
      Amazonsaurus is a genus of diplodocoid sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous Period of what is now South America. It would have been a large-bodied quadrupedal herbivore with a long neck and whiplash tail...

    • Family Rebbachisauridae
      Rebbachisauridae
      Rebbachisauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs known from fragmentary fossil remains from the Cretaceous of South America, Africa, and Europe.-Taxonomy:...

    • Flagellicaudata (whip-tails)
      • Family Dicraeosauridae
        Dicraeosauridae
        Dicraeosauridae is a family of sauropod dinosaurs known from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of Africa and South America. Currently only three genera are recognised; the Jurassic South American genus Brachytrachelopan, the Jurassic African Dicraeosaurus and the South American Early...

      • Family Diplodocidae