Apatosaurus dinosaurs, pterosaurs and ferns in a misty landscape at sunset

Diplodocid dinosaurs

Diplodocids were a family of giant sauropod dinosaurs. They had shorter legs and longer necks and tails than the other types of sauropod, but were still massive beasts, weighing several times more than African elephants. Despite being herbivores, their teeth were unsuited to chewing plant matter, so - like today's chickens - they swallowed stones to grind the food in the stomach. Unlike chickens, being 30 metres long they had to select rather large stones for this to be effective. It's thought that they may have used their long necks for reaching down to feed on the ground, rather than for reaching up into the crown of trees as giraffes do.

Scientific name: Diplodocidae

Rank: Family

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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

Jurassic period Jurassic period
The Jurassic began after the mass extinction event that ended the Triassic. Life, however, was quick to recover from this blow and the Jurassic eventually became host to the most diverse range of organisms that Earth had yet seen.