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Featured article Diplodocus is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 26, 2007.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
July 23, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
August 21, 2006 Peer review Reviewed
January 9, 2007 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.7 (Rated FA-class)
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Featured article FA  Quality: FA-Class
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what is the scientific name for a diplodocus

Diplodocus is the scientific name for the genus. It's the same as the common/vernacular name, except when used formally it is always italicized and capitalized; the vernacular may be lower-case and use standard type. The species within the genus are known by their full binomial names: Diplodocus carnegiei, Diplodocus hayi, and Diplodocus longus, which can also be abbreviated to D. carnegiei, D. hayi, and D. longus after the full binomial name has been used at least once. 16:18, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Prehistoric animals generally don't have vernacular names. Brutannica 01:30, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Sometimes though, prehistoric animals have (kinda) vernacular names, "woolly mammoth" for Mammathus, "saber tooth tiger" or "saber tooth cat" for Smilodon, "T.Rex" for Tyrannosaurus. Maybe one could even consider the name brontosaurus a nickname for Apatosaurus. T.Neo (talk)(contribs) 07:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Neck/tail counterbalance[edit]

The article states that the purpose of the long tail is to counterbalance the neck. Is it also possible that the tail was used as a weapon, and that the long neck evolved to counterbalance the tail?

Yes, the tail was used as a weapon sometimes, but as far as which one came first? I am not sure.
Actually there is alot of conjecture about the tail. Will try to stick more in the article Cas Liber 03:03, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

OK, umm collaboration talk bit is gone so more comments here?[edit]

OK, moved the statue image to pop culture as it is nice but not correct anymore (head too high)

now to stick this one in

Diplodocus NHM.JPG

question is, do folk think it's too light?

Agree I agree that it's not too light.--Firsfron of Ronchester 15:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Disagree I disagree that it's too light. It shows up fine on my monitor here at home. I'll check it out at work, just to make sure, because my home PC's monitor is a little darker, but I don't forsee issues.--Firsfron of Ronchester 15:49, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Neck and Feeding Posture[edit]

"Interestingly, the range of movement of the neck would have allowed the head to graze below the level of the body, leading scientists to speculate on whether Diplodocus grazed on submerged water plants, from riverbanks. This concept of the feeding posture is supported by the relative lengths of front and hind limbs. Furthermore, its peglike teeth may have been used for eating soft water plants."

This needs referencing, bad. The only studies I know of involving the function of teeth settled on high-browsing because of the lack of grit. That may of course be hopelessly outdated, but stuff like the above needs to be referenced. Also, I think the other side of the argument (tripodal feeding posture, with muscular arteries pushing blood to the head) needs to be addressed. John.Conway 16:49, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

John - it is the same as ref 10. I put it there but wasn't familair with double referencning at the time. Will try to fix Cas Liber 23:01, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Comments from successful vote 15 November 2006[edit]

This is now the first Second Tier Collaboration 15/11/06-13/12/06 - working up for FAC. Now if someone wants to update a to-do list......................... Cas Liber 03:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


  • Already recognized as a Good Article, it shouldn't be that hard to get it up to the next level. Also, as a counter-balance to the large number of Cretaceous Period dinosaurs, some from the Jurassic should also be selected. Firsfron of Ronchester 19:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It is one of the many dinosaurs I first recognized. M&NCenarius 05:13, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Currently a good article, so as Firstron said it should not require too much further work. In addition, as one of the most widely recognised dinosaur making it a featured article makes more sense than (from a publics perspective) a lesser known taxon. Mark t young 13:53, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Important, GA & okay for an icky sauropod. ;) Spawn Man 02:35, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
  • If we have to choose the first sauropod to be in the FA candidate list, it has to be diplodocus. ArthurWeasley 18:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Obvious to-do[edit]

  • The list of species needs to have explanations of why each one is different, preferably prose-style.
  • More references are needed; T. rex has 73, many referenced several times. Diplodocus has 1720. References are definitely required for such statements as Diplodocus is the longest dinosaur known from a complete skeleton.
  • Pop culture section de-listified.
  • Short paragraphs combined.

Anything else? Firsfron of Ronchester 04:10, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

need to find figures too: an artist reconstitution of diplodocus, size comparisons, etc...ArthurWeasley 04:29, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
The bit about neck posture needs to be expanded on, maybe not to the degree that belongs on the main Sauropod article, but at least enough to convey that this is still a controversial topic. A few extra sources, and discussions that refer specifically to the papers and what they say, would help.Dinoguy2 03:12, 18 November 2006 (UTC)
I just realised from my experience with Stegosaurus - I suspect the description section will need to be larger and swallow up some material from the Paleobiology and subheadings. On the FAC list they didn't seem to like many short subheadings. Cas Liber 21:34, 22 November 2006 (UTC) this. I've moved tail bit. Some form of summary of neck bit can go there too I think. Need to rejig images thoughCas Liber 08:20, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Gettin' there....................[edit]

OK guys, I rearranged things a bit; 37 refs is looking better. I suddenly thought some bit on origins in/under classification might be good (relationship t oearly sauropods)Cas Liber 23:12, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

There is a slight inconsistency on the description of the feeding habit of diplodocus in the text. In the 'Neck' section, the theory of the animal feeding on soft aquatic plants is put forward while the 'Diet' section talks about the wear pattern of the teeth consistent with the stripping of plant foliage up to 12 m high above ground. Somehow the alternative riparian theory should be reminded in the diet section, I think. Otherwise, the rest looks pretty good. ArthurWeasley 01:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I've reshuffled a bit the paleobio section. For instance, the depiction of Hay in the middle of the aquatic description seemed a little odd (the depiction does not actually show an aquatic animal) so I moved it to the posture section. I also moved the aquatic plant feeding theory in the diet section ArthurWeasley 01:40, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Yep, that looks better, Arthur. Any idea on what do do with this sentence? A classic 1910 reconstruction by Dr. Oliver P. Hay [1] depicts two Diplodocus with splayed lizard-like limbs on the banks of a river. Firsfron of Ronchester 01:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
It's in the posture section. Other stuff: there should be a conclusive note at the end of the posture section stating that the current consensus depicts diplodocus with a stiff neck held horizontally above the ground, I think. Also, the sentence on the trunk need a reference. I am pretty sure I've read it in one of Bakker's book years ago, could somebody confirm? For the diet, have gastroliths ever been associated with diplodocids? Also, could something be said about eggs and nesting habit? Sauropod eggs have been found in South America and Europe which could hint on diplodocus reproductive behavior. Unfortunately, I think no sauropod egg or nest has been found in North America which could lead to speculations that either this animal migrated to lay eggs or that it did not have nesting grounds (as depicted in Walking with dinosaurs). Just putting up some ideas. ArthurWeasley 02:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I know it's in the posture section, but it's got a big link in the middle of it. Will work on the rest now. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:04, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The link is an image. Could this be uploaded in wiki commons and added to the article? That's an old image so what would be its copyright status? ArthurWeasley 02:08, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Copyright expired (published before 1923). The site claims copyright on the images used in the site, but cannot claim copyright on this material. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
OK. How about this (take a look at the article now)? ArthurWeasley 04:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks nice and contrasty small, bit blurry when larger. Good one to get into articleCas Liber 04:53, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I think it looks very good, pity about the blurriness in the larger version. Still, v nice. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I added a small bit on reproduction. It's mostly to the effect that "since titanosaurs layed eggs thus, then Diplodocus might have done so too". And I mentioned the Walking with DInosaurs hypothesis. Any other information? Sphenacodon 07:43, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I know this association (titanosaurs laid eggs a certain way, dippy probably did too) is pretty obvious, but unless it's been suggested in print this is original research (and the WWD bit is speculation for a TV show and doesn't belong outside a discussion of that show).Dinoguy2 03:38, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Have a look at this: I added some info on it in the posture section, if that's the correct place. Sphenacodon 07:35, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry everyone as I have been a bit quiet on this one. I am going to have to partly wikihibernate

for a week or two to attend to some pressing stuff off the computer, though I will try to drop in. Thus feel free to nominate once people feel the article is worthy..Cas Liber 23:06, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Peer review as prep for FAC[edit]

Someone asked me to peer review this prior to FA candidacy. I read the article, and a few of the other dinosaur articles on Wikipedia. In general, they're of high quality compared to articles on organisms in a number of other categories on Wikipedia. I have to read some of the major taxonomy papers, which I am doing, and will start posting comments as soon as possible.

A few overall comments on dinosaur articles that I think would make them generally more useful are that the articles often fail to give a sense of the type of scientists who study dinosaurs, namely paleontologists and stratigraphers--this should be included in the lead, paleontologists at least, stratigraphers and/or geochronologists should be mentioned in the section on ages. This is all important information to a general audience who may read a single article on dinosaurs. I would like, in general, for names of scientists to include their discipline with the first mention, or some comment about them. There should also be some sense of how important the Morrison Formation is to dinosaur finds in the United States, especially when dealing with a dinosaur that is either well-studied from the Morrison Formation, or found in large quantities, or well known, and dinosaurs should, in genera descriptions, include a single comment about where the major finds are made, the geological formation, paleontological or modern location, in lists of species. The lead paragraph should, imo, include a sentence about the major finds, the most complete find, or the first find. Almost all names should be linked. This will be a problem if there are red links for FAC, but these dinosaur hunters can and should have at least stubs. Mudge, for example, was a Kansas state geologist, and has a page at Oceans of Kansas,[2] Samuel Wendell Williston should be linked, and described as a paleontologist in the article. KP Botany 17:02, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your above comments, KP. I will work, in the next few days, to work your suggestions into the article. I also look forward to your futher comments. Best wishes, Firsfron of Ronchester 18:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Getting there...I would like to see something on what makes each species different but I don't have anything on this. Once this is done (if it can be done?), I reckon it's pretty close to nomination...Cas Liber 07:40, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
It's already a lot better than many FAC, imo, so I wouldn't worry too much about attaining it, although the editors who work on FAC are getting a bit tougher--still this is a generally well-written and well-researched article. I will probably ask for extensive clarifications and edits, as I think it has the potential to be ultra-FA. I will start posting tomorrow. I'm still working on the sauropod taxonomy, though. I have to admit I spent very little time studying sauropod taxonomy as a child, as I was a Triceratops person. But I don't think it would have mattered. You dinosaur folks work well as a team, and are putting out a lot of good information and working hard to be careful about your science, you and the Cetacean folks in particular. KP Botany 04:09, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Great! Looking forward to further comments. You may also be interested to note we are currently working to improve Triceratops, too. Firsfron of Ronchester 04:44, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

PR Introduction[edit]

1."Diplodocus (pronounced /ˌdɪ.pləˈdɔ.kəs/ or /dɪˈplɔd.əkəs/; meaning "double beam") is a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur which lived in what is now western North America at the end of the Jurassic Period."

  • I would get lizard-hipped in right away, dinosaurs don't belong to the specialists, and the familiar words that amateurs have encountered for ages should be used right away with their technical meanings to associate the paleontologist's jargon with the layman's vernacular.

(not sure; we haven't done it with other FACs...)

2."The generic name is in reference to its double-beamed chevron bones (Greek diplos/διπλος meaning 'double' and dokos/δοκος meaning 'wooden beam' or 'bar').[1]"

  • The chevron bones need explained right away, because they're extensively discussed in the early literature on Diplodocus. Locate them on the underside of the tail right in this introductory sentence. (good point. done)

3."The chevrons, initially believed to be unique to Diplodocus, have since then been discovered in other diplodocids."

  • Since when? I thought it's been a while. Give a date (year) if possible and tie to a specific example of the first other diplodocid to have one. Does Apatosaurus have them?

4."Diplodocus was one of the more common dinosaurs found in the Upper Morrison Formation, about 150 to 147 million years ago (Kimmeridgian and Tithonian epochs), in an environment and time dominated by giant sauropods , such as Camarasaurus, Barosaurus, Apatosaurus and Brachiosaurus.[2]"

  • Unless geology's changed as much as botany, Kimmeridgian and Tithonian are ages of the Late Jurassic epoch of the Jurassic period of the Mesozoic era. As this is a North American dinosaur I think Late Jurassic is better, than using the European faunal stages. I'll have to ask a stratigrapher about this, too.

5."It is among the most easily identifiable dinosaurs, with its classic dinosaur shape, long neck and tail and four sturdy legs. For many years it was the longest dinosaur known."

  • Oh, please, can't we say what's longer? "For many years it was the longest dinosaur known, a position currently held by Longestiosaurus dinosuarus

(info on longest dinos is in description section. This may be too unwieldy for the intro)

6."Its great size may have been a deterrent to contemporaneous predators, such as Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus."

  • Reword this to get in the fact that these dinosaurs are also North American, Upper Jurassic, Morrison Formation fauna.

(yep. I have attempted to rewrite)

  • Is Diplodocus found only in Morrison Formation strata? State this explicitly.
  • The Morrison Formation and Diplodocus go hand-in-hand to dinosaur lovers of the world. And dinosaurs are known from their fossils, use this word specifically in the introduction along with some descriptive terms of the Morrison Formation, "a species of dinosaur known from fossilized bones commonly found in the (siltstones, sandstones, ash layers, whatever) of the western North American Morrison Formation." They're studied by paleontologists and geologists, get at least paleontologist in the introduction, probably both.

KP Botany 23:22, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

(have to muse on the last point. The input is very tmely. thankyou)Cas Liber 05:38, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there's a need to state that Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus were also from the Upper Jurassic, as "contemporaneous" already states that. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:44, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Forgot to mention: I think "lizard-hipped diplodocid sauropod dinosaur" is far too wordy. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:47, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Right. I've changed 'epoch' to 'faunal stage', as Wikipedia's articles on the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian currently state they are faunal stages. Firsfron of Ronchester 05:54, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I forgot to add, when I was a kid in the 70s and it looked like there was no single entity dinosauria, we used to pay alot more attention to Saurischia and Ornithischia than currently, just seem to jump mentally to the groups (sauropods, ceratopsians etc.) Cas Liber 06:01, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, they may be old-time more familiar, and I haven't spent much time with dinosaurs since I was a kid, growing up in a family of paleontologists, in the back rooms of museums, with pets named after famous fossils, rocks of major formations as door stops, and the geological time scale posted on the kitchen wall--and I love being reminded of how awesome my childhood was by reading these dinosaur articles on Wikipedia. On the European faunal stages, I did speak to a stratigrapher, and asked her if Kimmeridgian and Tithonian should be used as dates for Diplodocus finds, and she said, "No, I would never use European faunal stages to describe North American dinosaurs, why aren't they just using Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation?" This may be something new, though, in paleontology, that I'm not aware of. KP Botany 17:41, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
The (st)age is still in wide use among paleontologists in scientific literature. here, for example. And informally, too: here. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:47, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
The first source you send me is about a find in Portugal, where European faunal stage names would properly be used, and the second is a list serve, and informal usage. The issue is not whether they are in use, the issue is using European faunal stages to describe the stratigraphic location of the Morrison Formation Diplodocus finds. KP Botany 23:16, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
"lizard-hipped diplodocid sauropod dinosaur" too wordy? Hmmmm, well, maybe... KP Botany 23:18, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Late Jurassic Climates, Vegetation, and Dinosaur Distributions, a paper comparing dinosaur distributions and climate/vegetation levels, uses faunal stages when discussing the Morrison Formation ("Similarities between the faunas of the Morrison Formation and the dinosaur-bearing sediments of the Tendaguru beds of Tanzania have long been noted (Schuchert 1918; Russell et al. 1980; Maier2003). The deposits both appear to span the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian interval, and their fossil records comprise plants, invertebrates, and a dinosaur-dominated vertebrate assemblage."), and I've found many other professional papers which also contain this usage. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:32, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Here's another one which specifically lists Diplodocus by faunal stage. Firsfron of Ronchester 00:40, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Except he uses it only in the list, and once within the text, and parenthetically always, when describing a group that has European examples, neosauropods, otherwise he uses various subsections of Jurassic or Cretaceous throughout, Late Jurassic, Early to Middle, etc., It is acceptable when describing European species, and it is not clear from the list that the European stages are not thrown in simply for correlation. Also it was more common in the late 19th century and early 20th century, as most of the specimens listed in the table are from. Again, it's not really the current standard, it's something I'm not used to seeing in modern papers on stratigraphy outside of Europe. If you simply must use it for some reason, then use it like this author whose paper you offer, in parantheses. KP Botany 01:01, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi, just checked Dinosauria 2nd edition, they are using stages Kimmeridgian etc. for dinosaurs wherever they are worldwide (American etc.) and I figure since this was a pretty monumental publication, if they're doing it I'd pretty well accept it as consensus. cheers Cas Liber 01:31, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Stages like Kimmeridgian, Tithonian are now global stages, not just local ones (such as Portlandian, which is roughly equivalent to the Tithonian and is a European faunal stage). Both the age when a faunal stage begins/ends and their names are regulated by the International Commission on Statigraphy (website: The Oxfordian, Kimmeridgian and Tithonian are the official global names for the stages of the Late Jurassic. Mark t young 13:01, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. Wikipedia's article on the Geologic time scale seems to indicate that while Geologists tend to talk in terms of Upper/Late, Lower/Early and Middle parts of periods and other units , such as "Upper Jurassic", and "Middle Cambrian".[...] paleontologists define a system of faunal stages, of varying lengths, based on changes in the observed fossil assemblages. The lovely Thescelosaurus site uses faunal stages when discussing dinosaur genera, as does Palaeos Vertebrates[3] (both inside and outside of parentheses). And, of course, there are hundreds of papers which use them, too. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:48, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I do have more comments on this, too. First of all, Dinosauria is international in focus, so it wouldn't surprise that they would correlate European faunal stages, and the Thescelosaurus site is Gondwanan in focus, and Mesozoic European faunal stages are discussed in relation to the Tethys Sea, so Gondwanan Mesozoic fauna would be related. I did look at the ICS site, and it seems that they are saying that these stages and their international correlation and usage will be a thing of 2008, not that they are currently recognized internationally now. And I'm confused about the Portlandian comment as the ICS seems to be saying that it's a regional stage, not an official global name, and the ICS seems to be saying it only recognizes the beginning of the faunal stages, not the beginning and end. Their website is a bit difficult to navigate, so maybe you could post a link and quote a citation? It would be useful to understand this once and for all and its underlying policy for all Wikipedia articles that use European faunal stages or International faunal stages. Also there is an attempt to use only age, not stage. KP Botany 21:38, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
The Portlandian comment was that it is the name of the local European stage, not a global official one (which is the Tithonian). The chart at: is the current, 2006, timescale. It is only the boundary between Stages which is formally regulated, therefore the end of a stage is defined if the next Stage boundary is formalised. However, not all stages are currently defined (using Global Standard Section and Points - GSSPs : such as the start of Ammonite Zones, radiometric dating, etc). The "Geologic Time Scale 2004" is the most recent complete statigraphic record for each Period, Epoch and Stage, although the formalisation of Stage names had occurred by 1989 with the publication of the first "Geologic Time Scale" by Harland et al.

The reference for the current Geologic Time Scale is: F.M.Gradstein, J.G.Ogg, A.G.Smith, F.P.Agterberg, W.Bleeker, R.A.Cooper, V.Davydov, P.Gibbard, L.Hinnov, M.R. House, L.Lourens, H-P.Luterbacher, J.McArthur, M.J.Melchin, L.J.Robb, J.Shergold, M.Villeneuve, B.R.Wardlaw, J.Ali, H.Brinkhuis, F.J.Hilgen, J.Hooker, R.J.Howarth, A.H.Knoll, J.Laskar, S.Monechi, J.Powell, K.A.Plumb, I.Raffi, U.Röhl, P.Sadler, A.Sanfilippo, B.Schmitz, N.J.Shackleton, G.A.Shields, H.Strauss, J.Van Dam, J.Veizer, Th.van Kolfschoten, and D.Wilson, 2004. A Geologic Time Scale 2004. Cambridge University Press

However, it should be noted two types of terminology are regulated by the ICS, Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic. In the first the terms used are: Eonothem, Erathem, System, Series, Stage and substage; whilst in Geochronologic the terms used are: Eon, Era, Period, Epoch, Age and Subage. The two types of terminology refer to different concepts. Chronostratigraphic refers to all the rocks and fossils that are from a length of geological time, whereas Geochronologic refers to the length of time itself. For example the Jurassic Period is the length of time from approximately 200-145 Ma, but the Jurassic System refers to all the rocks and fossils which come from that Period. I mention this as there seems to be some confusion about using Age and Stage in relation to Kimmeridgian, Tithonian etc. Both are correct, however, they refer to differ things. I previously used "faunal stage" as a non-terminological way of describing Tithonian etc, though to be terminologically correct Age is what should be used. I hope this clears things up a bit. Mark t young 14:58, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Right then, shall we nominate?[edit]

(big breath...) Right then, shall we nominate? Cas Liber 01:33, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm ready but KP may have more suggestions. Firsfron of Ronchester 20:49, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I will make my comments regardless of its status as a FAC or even FA as I think folks did excellent work on the article and really care about its quality. Still, I work more than full time, and will be busy with holidays and family until January 7th, so may be slow compared to impatient Wiki folk (kidding only a bit, it takes time to write something well, as you all know). IMO it's already better than some FAs I've read. KP Botany 20:45, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the input; it has been really helpful, encouraging debate is always a good thing. cheers Cas Liber 21:23, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's see if you still say that after I post 25kb of comments? Cheers, KP Botany 21:28, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
In the immortal words of Kirsten Dunst, "Bring it on".....hee hee Cas Liber 05:28, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
OK then, if people reckon we can get over the FA line, I'll nominate now. Cas Liber 04:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

descriptive note[edit]

i'm not a member of the Wiki Dino project, but i noticed this article's nomination. i find it akward that there is a descriptive note inside the pronunciation article. so if there's no objection in a couple of days, i'll remove it. thanks and more power. -- —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Rebskii (talkcontribs) 18:08, 29 December 2006 (UTC).

i also wanted to know why the species section of the taxobox is blank. can anyone educate me on this matter? --RebSkii 18:37, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
This article is about the genus "Diplodocus" not about a single species of this genus. The article lists various valid species of Diplodocus in the text, in a section about the various species, including Diplodocus longus, D. carnegiei, D. hayi, and D. hallorum. The taxobox only contains information to the taxon level that the article is about. As this is about the genus, it stops at the level genus. Articles on the various species will have the species name listed in the taxobox. I'm not sure that this is what you are asking, rather than asking why the species aren't just listed in the taxobox. I suppose the various species could be added to the taxobox, as it is a short list. KP Botany 20:18, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
then so, if that's the case, instead of leaving it blank, it should be filled out properly like, a dash, none or NA whichever is applicable.--RebSkii 07:15, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


Hmm... there is no information of Diplodocus' assumed weight. Every other dinosaur article have it. According to my encyclopedia, Diplodocus weighed about 10-20 tons, since its bones are hollow. --Jw21 (PenaltyKillah) 05:16, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Hope you don't mind I moved it. Looks like Greg Paul's '94 estimate of 11,500 kg is regarded as reasonable; at least Ken Carpenter used it in his study of Amphicoelias last year. J. Spencer 05:27, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Question. For the image in the info box I personally belive there should be a different image maybe like the one of the images in the posture section. DPM 14:56, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

First sentence[edit]

The first sentence says that the fossilized skeleton of a genus of dinosaurs was found. That doesn't seem possible to me. I'd reword it, but I'm no paleontologist. If I were, I'd probably make it " a genus of diplodocid sauropod dinosaur, the first-known representative of which is D. longus, whose fossilised skeleton was discovered in 1877 by S. W. Williston. The generic name...". Milkbreath 01:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I had a look at it, but it would probably be best to avoid putting too many clauses into the sentence. J. Spencer 02:12, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I love your solution. It's much better than my suggestion. Milkbreath 02:23, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't the Seismosaurus article be merged into this one? Funkynusayri (talk) 09:38, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I think so. I recently made seismosaurus redirect to Diplodocus#Valid species. Feel free to revert my edit is neccsary. T.Neo (talk) 06:41, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Would one of the contributors to this article consider adding in a tiny bit more information on 'Seismosaurus'. As a layman, I heard the term and tried to look it up here. With the redirect in place it's slightly tricky to work out why one has arrived at the 'Diplodocus' page, though if you read the whole page you can find snippets of info. But (and this is just a suggestion) as well as the list of 'Valid species' and 'Doubtful species', might it make sense to have a 'Disused species name' section (and maybe there's a better name for it than that). That way one could look up a term like 'Seismosaurus' in a straightforward way. I'd do it, but I'm so lacking in knowledge on this subject I think I'd do it very badly. Thanks. Warraqeen (talk) 07:07, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Frank Zappa song[edit]

There's an instrumental Frank Zappa track called "Diplodocus" on an album called Trance-Fusion, is that in any way notable enough for the pop culture section? I'm a Zappa fan myself, so I'd advocate it! FunkMonk (talk) 19:08, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Does it have anything to do with Diplodocus other than the name? Dinoguy2 (talk) 00:37, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's instrumental, so not anything obvious. Don't know if it's really fit for the article. FunkMonk (talk) 06:18, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd say it wouldn't meet notability requirements based on that. Think what would happen if we listed every popular or commercial item named after T. rex for example. These things say nothing about the subject other than somebody decided to name yet another thing after a dinosaur. Wiki is not an indiscriminate collection of trivia and all that. Dinoguy2 (talk) 00:49, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, I know, just got excited when I saw the track-list of the album, heh. FunkMonk (talk) 15:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Size deterring predators[edit]

The last sentence in the lead (about how its size may have deterred Allosaurus or Ceratosaurus predation) isn't cited, and it's kind of questionable. These statements about big sauropods being not vulnerable to predators are really common, but seem pretty baseless - wolves are known to kill moose, and the size difference between Allosaurus fragilis and Diplodocus carnegii, or between Allosaurus [Epanterias?] amplexus and D. hallorum, is smaller than that between wolves and moose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Stratigraphic zones[edit]

Ok, so these stratigraphic zones have been added to nearly all Morrison fauna articles. I don't have Jurassic West, and I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, what it correlates to, etc. I assume these are like some kind of sub-member in the formation? Have they been dated? There is no mention of them in the main Morrison article. I feel this is too confusing for an FA, and should be either modified to give context and/or linked back to an explanation in Morrison Formation or removed. Seems like such information should have first be added to the faunal tables in that article, and expanded upon, before being added to genera.

Along the same lines, entries on most of the other genera have been incomplete sentences hastily tagged to the end of relevant sections, rather than incorporated into the articles in a fluid manner. I contacted Abyssal about this and he did start clarifying that the zones were part of the Morrison, but has not even been linking that term or adding further explanation to complete the entries. Again, would have been better as a caption in the faunal tables.Dinoguy2 (talk) 16:45, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that full sentences need to be written, if this information is included. I can request Jurassic West through Interlibrary Loan and find out a little more about these stratigraphic zones. I don't have the book, so I couldn't add more relevant data to the sentence. Until these sections are structured better, they should not be mass-added to articles, and certainly not using incomplete sentences. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:17, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
What do you guys want me to do, exactly? Abyssal (talk) 01:25, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Please use full sentences, especially when adding content to Featured Articles, and absolutely when mass-adding content to multiple articles. Explain what a stratigraphic zone is for the reader, because even project members don't really know what it is. You've done a heck of a lot of great work for this project, but these could have been incorporated into the text better. You are a very good writer, so these additions surprised me. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:25, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
I was removing them en masse from the Morrison table in my user space. I'm using a clearer and more widely-used stratigraphic system in the new style paleofauna table, and cutpasting the zones to articles was part of implementing that. Since the addition of the zones was a side-task I didn't have time to clarify. I don't fully understand the zoning system myself, and it will take time for me to clarify the added sentences. I don't have that time given my current task. I urge patience until I can get around to wrapping my head around the stratigraphic zones, which will take time. I fully intend to clean up the information, so please remind me if a long time passes without me fixing things. Abyssal (talk) 15:02, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
In the future, I'd recommend adding content only after you understand the topic and can make a complete contribution ;) Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:39, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Wasn't really a viable option. Abyssal (talk) 21:49, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Seems this article needs a paleoecology section, perhaps the one from Apatosaurus could be modified and added here? FunkMonk (talk) 14:24, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I noticed that too. Go for it. LittleJerry (talk) 18:53, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

image copyrights[edit]

Under German copyright laws, only the exterior, not the interior of museums, is in the public domain. While taking photographs inside is usually allowed when not using a tripod, and sometimes even when doing so, it is always explicitly forbidden (unless the museum expressly permits it) to use the images for anything but "private use". Releasing images for commercial use is not covered. Thus, I am removing the questionable image for now. The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin has, to my certain knowledge, not released anything for use on wikipedia.HMallison (talk) 10:56, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Fossils are not copyrightable, and Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Germany states only that interior shots of works of architecture are prohibited. Firsfron of Ronchester 18:12, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, you can see the architecture in the background... but I guess the picture isn't of that, so maybe it's ok. Also, aren't these cats of fossils? The line between a skeletal mount and a sculpture can get blurry. Dinoguy2 (talk) 18:13, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
sorry, you are thinking a bridge too short here: the bones itself are not copyright covered, but the mount is. The relevant law says:
7. Darstellungen wissenschaftlicher oder technischer Art, wie Zeichnungen, Pläne, Karten, Skizzen, Tabellen und plastische Darstellungen.
(Depictions of scientific or technical kind, such as [...] and plastic representations.)
I will ask our law department, but I am pretty sure that photos of the interoir of museums are off limits as far as I can remember. HMallison (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:11, 23 January 2010 (UTC).
I found a commenting work that states:

"Sammlungsgegenstände von Museen, insbesondere von Kunstmuseen, haben in der Regel Werkcharakter, d.h., sie unterfallen dem Schutz des Urheberrechtsgesetzes" (Collection pieces of museums [...] usually have the character of a 'piece of art', thus are covered by copyright protection).

Oops! Turns out I was right :( I wish it was ohterwise, but even then the sign at the entrance saying that you are only allowed to take picutres for private purposes would, if you enter the museum, create a binding contract by tacit agreement. Thus, no pics without license from the museum on wikipedia. HMallison (talk) 19:18, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, there we have it. Sad, but that's the way it must be. We'll find alternates or something. Thanks for pointing this out, HM. Firsfron of Ronchester 19:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, well, do not despare! After all, I work at that place ;) So long as all uploaders wirte kind emails, I can try to wokr the PR department :) However, there is a good chance that I have already managed to talk our head guys into giving permission to use pics by the museum photographers (which I will upload), which are, well, beyond anything a 'mere' visitor can take HMallison (talk) 19:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate all your work on this, HM. That would be amazing. However, be very careful with the permissions. If the permission is given to use them only on Wikipedia, we won't be able to use them at all because Wikipedia allows its content to be used elsewhere. Firsfron of Ronchester 19:49, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for bringing that issue up again. I have faced this problem before.... However, our people should be able to produce images that are wonderfull at screen size but insufficient for significant commercial use (calenders, prints). Which would serve wikipedia well, which our people have recognized as a huge place to have a non-advert on ;) HMallison (talk) 19:52, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, seems to be a bit vague (animal specimens are not specifically mentioned for one). I'll ask over at Commons, they would know of precedents. But from what I know, animal specimens in any form are not considered art, thus not copyrightable, anywhere. However, if this is all correct, such pictures would have to be individually nominated for deletion on Commons too. Simply removing them from articles doesn't cut it. If they are not deleted as a result, they are still usable here. FunkMonk (talk) 23:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
It is not vague at all: it clearly encompasses all museum specimens. And yes, the next step would be removal from commons. The point here being that the MFN is taking steps to 'improve' its Wikipedia presence, and in the course of that wants to have control what's shown. Commercially viable pics are a problem, when merchendising is considered, after all!. HMallison (talk) 23:28, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Made a thread here, I'll wait and see what they say: FunkMonk (talk) 23:25, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
If that's the case, it will be respected, of course, just want to be sure. FunkMonk (talk) 23:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I know it is annoying, and as you well know, I have some very nice pics to share, which I cannot do because of these issues :( However, if the MFN is now bombarded with request for use, the chances are high that the people in charge will realise what a great chance they have to present the museum well, and that current low-quality stuff will be replaced by better pics :) Fingers Xed! HMallison (talk) 23:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Heh heh. By the way, the relevant picture in this article was taken in a train station, not a museum, doesn't that make a difference? If it is public, then freedom of panorama counts in this case. FunkMonk (talk) 23:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, you must then apply to Die Bahn for permission, and find out how the Bahn and the MFN as the owner share copyrights. Just because the place is publicly accessible does not make it public, and thus Panoramafreiheit does not apply :( I know I know, Germans and their laws....HMallison (talk) 23:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Hmmmm.... Strange, I would believe the guys at Commons would had known of this, there are plenty of pictures from German museums there. This could affect thousands of files. For example, artwork that is thought to be in the public domain would apparently not be so if in a German Museum? To me, it's hard to believe, but who knows? FunkMonk (talk) 23:52, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the Commons policy is that as long as you are taking photographs of public domain artwork (painting, sculptures, weapons, building interiors, etc.) you can upload them. Many museums in various countries prohibit photography, but that is an issue between the photographer and the museum which does not involve Commons. I am not sure about nuances of German law but most law codes allow anybody to photograph PD objects. Many types of artwork might not be PD (possibly dinosaur skeletons which are creatively arranged) for those individual images one should file deletion requests. --Jarekt (talk) 02:57, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
"as long as you are taking photographs of public domain artwork" - entirely to the point! Sadly, in Germany, museum displays usually are not public domain. Because Commons files can be used and accessed through de.wikipedia, photos of them are (as far as I understand the rules) not acceptable. :( HMallison (talk) 07:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, that law seems to distinguish between art museums and regular museums, and states "in the rule" instead of always. It doesn't specifically say "all collections of anything in a German museum are copyrighted.", rather "museum collections, especially in art museums, are usually copyrighted." So that leaves it open for exceptions I'd believe. I'd like to know what such exceptions could be. FunkMonk (talk) 10:52, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Lots of discussions on taking photographs of interior objects are already on this German WP page: de:Wikipedia:Fotos_von_fremdem_Eigentum —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iotatau (talkcontribs) 11:06, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
This should not be discussed here on enWP but on Commons as there is a serious lack of expertize on German law here. But let me give short statement here: "sweat of the brow", craft and the like are not protected by German copyright law, only individual originality is. Setting up a dinosaurs cast temporary in the lobby of a train station is not the expression of individual creativity by the person who designed it. This setup is not covered by German copyright law at all. Pretty much everything else mentioned here is irrelevant, the opening statement of this discussion was in error of the legal status. Therefore I put the image back in the article. If you doubt my claims, please go to Commons and request the deletion of the image there. Removing a single image from one article in one WP-project and discussing it on that articles talk page is not a suitable way to clarify general copyright issues. --h-stt !? 11:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC) [I'm a sysop on deWP and Commons, studied German law and claim to be one of our leading experts for German copyright law]
I second this. It does not make sense to speculate about freedom of panorama if the depicted subject is not eligible for copyright. Similarly, non-copyright restrictions as, for example, the missing permission for photographing the interior of museums are of no concern for us here as they do not affect the copyright status of these images. Please take a look at our casebook at Commons for such cases as this. And please move sophisticated copyright discussions of media at Commons to Commons where expertise for such cases is available. --AFBorchert (talk) 12:31, 26 January 2010 (UTC) (Another admin from Commons with some basic knowledge about German copyright law.)
Third this. The museum 'doesn't like it and want it' does not equal 'not allowed'. And where museums protect the art and their physical ownership of that art, we protect the free works and permissions that the society has. This is a natural borderconflict that many museums seem to have a lot of problems with. They see it as that we are not respecting them and their work, or something and forget that by misusing copyright claims (a common problem in the GLAM world unfortunately) they are basically insulting everything Wikipedia/Wikimedia stands for. They are surprised or angered without realizing that the opposing side is usually equally surprised. This misunderstanding requires education within the GLAM world as much as within the Wikimedia world (something Liam Wyatt is working on feverishly).
That said, image should say, should be discussed on Commons. Copyright of the building lies with the architect, so the museum should have no problem with that, copyright of the mount of the fossils is a tad dubious and will probably only be possible to effectively decide this in court, and the broken contract is an issue between the museum and the photographer, not between the museum and these websites. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:16, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess the law department of the MFN will have to have their say here and at commons. As an employee, I'll have to ask them to formally ask for removal at commons. HMallison (talk) 21:38, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Please tell them, that they might try to contact the Support team in German language at Those volunteers try to handle legal issues below the threshold of escalation to courts. Formal legal documents can only be served to the designated agents of the Wikimedia Foundation. You find their contact information in the footer of every single Wikipedia page. --h-stt !? 23:03, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I hope we can get this done without a big blow-up. Ideally, either you guys are correct (which I seriously doubt, because the mounts clearly are protected, as they are both a technical presentation and a work of art), or the museum decides to simply add their logo to the pics, to make it difficult to use the images commercially. The latter is a real concern! HMallison (talk) 07:38, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I can see that the mounts might be protected, since they are posed by humans (though this does not seem to make taxidermy specimens works of art), but how would this affect unmounted fossils (apart from the collections-as-art point)? They have been prepared yes, but that hardly counts as art, legally. FunkMonk (talk) 09:03, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but nearly all mounts in the world contain a mix of actual fossils/cast plus reconstructed bones based on skeletons. Why aren't the reconstructed versions considered art, like skeletal drawings are? Think of, say, the infamous Deltadromeus skull. It's certainly not a direct copy of an actual fossil. Even bones 'based' on relatives are usually altered in some way, isn't that a creative decision? Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:48, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd say completely reconstructed parts would be art, if they're not based completely on known animals. But casts wouldn't be art. The head of the Deltadromeus and Elaphrosaurus mounts might be art (in that case we might even want to blur out the skull of this picture[4]), but the head of the Kentrosaurus, which is just Stegosaurus mixed with known Kentrosaurus part, would not be art. In that case it's not a creative decision, just the most scientifically accurate one. FunkMonk (talk) 16:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

See also the new article: --Historiograf (talk) 18:10, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

From said article: "This paper is principally an introduction to the relevant law in the United States and a survey of examples of museum licenses." Please note that germany is not the US, and vice versa. HMallison (talk) 21:09, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

I notice that an editor has removed most of the 'popular culture' section, citing unsourced claims. Is it really necessary to reference ALL information, even if it is supposed to be common and checkable knowledge (such as the presence of a Diplodocus in Frankfurt)? I'm perfectly willing to do so, but this goes even further than professional literature does. --Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 16:25, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

True. due to a lack of education on these subjects many wikipedia editors do not understand what constitutes a reasonable level of referencing. Thus, no "pers. comm.", not taking data (Diplodocus exists in Frankfurt museum) from photos, etc. :( HMallison (talk) 18:02, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
"Is it really necessary to reference ALL information" Yes. This isn't because we doubt it's true, but because we doubt it's notable. If there is no outside source discussing the fact that Diplodocus appeared for five seconds in Horrible Inaccurate CGI Fest #168 on The Discovery Channel, then that means it is not relevant enough to be included in an encyclopedia. If anyone cared, it would be in writing and citable somewhere.
The comparison with professional literature is a good illustration. Professional literature is original research: you look at something and report what you see. Wikipedia is a tertiary source: we look at what others have reported, and report what they said. Looking at a photo and concluding that a Diplodocus specimen exists in the Frankfurt Museum, or looking at a TV show and reporting that diplodocus were in it, is Original Research and disqualified from Wikipedia. Looking at a book or paper or article where somebody has already discussed these facts is what is appropriate. MMartyniuk (talk) 18:38, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
"Looking at a photo and concluding that a Diplodocus specimen exists in the Frankfurt Museum [...] is Original Research" and that is where it gets really absurd, especially if the photo also happens to show the sign with the name on it. HMallison (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
This level of bureaucracy sometimes makes it difficult to keep working on Wikipedia any more. Particularly with that guy at the top staring at me for most of the year. Ah well, I think I have a compromise in referencing Tom Rea's Bone Wars (2001), which covers most of this. --Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 19:53, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
This level of "bureaucracy" is called being rigorous and verifiable, unlike a lot of content on the Web (and even parts of Wikipedia) which is totally spurious. If you don't want to research a topic you're writing about then maybe editing an encyclopedia is not your thing. If the Bone Wars book references this then by all means add it. MMartyniuk (talk) 13:47, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
There is a difference between rigorous and verifiable, and referencing every single statement even if we're talking about easily verifiable facts, such as the presence or absence of certain objects in certain museums. I don't see why Wikipedia should adhere to other standards than professional literature. It's not that I'm unwilling to reference, but it's just as important to reference only reference those statements that need it. But then, I'm uneasy with the current 'no original research' rule as it is. --Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 19:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Another thing is that proper referencing also means that one should judge the quality of one's references. Citing Robert Bakker's The Dinosaur Heresies as a historical source is just not on: the book is highly speculative in a number of fields, but wildly inaccurate in most historical details.Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 07:44, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
That wouldn't make it inaccurate to note in an article that Bakker argued some idea for which he made a case in The Dinosaur Heresies. Abyssal (talk) 18:58, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
An idea which is immediately pointed out to be wrong. I don't understand what's wrong with citing historical ideas/observations and explaining how they were proved wrong, or why that's somehow worse than including ideas/observations you generated yourself with no citation. MMartyniuk (talk) 19:36, 21 November 2011 (UTC).
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at here. However, the first problem here is that Bakker is taken as a historical source whereas he's clearly not a historian and gets most of his facts wrong. I could demonstrate this at length, but that would not help any Wikipedia lemma. The second is that proving an idea wrong will, unless it concerns an issue central to the article, only detract from its essence. No one wants a polemic on Wikipedia. Well, not outside the discussion anyway. --Ilja.nieuwland (talk) 19:40, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Use of the word "recent"[edit]

This article has used 'recent' several times. Please define the time more specifically and cite correctly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

Fragmentary remains[edit]

"While dinosaurs such as Supersaurus were probably longer, fossil remains of these animals are only fragmentary"

How true is this? WDC DMJ-021 skeleton is 30% complete, and it's just marginally smaller than the BYU type material. Mike.BRZ (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:57, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Original description[edit]

What's the citation for Marsh's original description of D. longus? The cited paper only mentions Diplodocus once, doesn't mention D. longus as type species and provides no type specimen or description. What's the deal? Abyssal (talk) 17:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

from the cited source:
"Diplodocus longus, gen. et sp. nov.
This genus includes some Dinosaurs 6t very large size, and herbivorous in habit. It may be distinguished from the genera already known by the caudal vertebrae, which are elongated, deeply excavated' below, and have double chevrons, with both anterior and posterior rami. (Plate YIII, figures 3 and 4). To the last character, the generic name refers. The tibia, also, is a very characteristic bone, as it is deeply grooved above to receive the fibula. The feet in this genus are very similar to those of Morosaurus, shown in Plate VII.
The present species is based upon one posterior limb, and the tail, of a single individual. The limb, as extended before removal, measured from the head of the femur to the end of the toes over thirteen feet (4"1M). The femur was 1645"™ in length, and the tibia 1090""°.. Four of the median caudal vertebrae measured together thirty-four inches (760mm). The first of these, or the fourteenth in the series, was eight and one-half inches (217mm) long, and five and one-half inches (140mm) across the anterior end.
The peculiar chevron represented in Plate VIII, figure 3, was found attached to the eleventh caudal, and all the remaining chevrons observed were of this character. Figure 4 represents a specimen found at another locality, and perhaps belonging to a different genus.
The above remains indicate a reptile about fifty feet in length. They were found in the upper Jurassic, near Canon City, Colorado, in 1877, by Mr. S. W. Williston."
Bolding mine. Seems fine to me! Actually, much better than the typical standard of the time :) HMallison (talk) 08:27, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Oops, I wasn't even reading the right paper. I was in Part VI instead of part I. Thanks for shownig me my error. Abyssal (talk) 13:03, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, been there, done that, kicked my own back afterwards ;) HMallison (talk) 19:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


Technically speaking Seismosaurus was over 33 metres long, around 33-36 metres according to the info reported when it's size was reduced. Also 33 metres scales isometrically proportionate with Diplodocus (20% longer). This is untrue since Seismosaurus had a disproportionately long neck and tail. It really would have been longer. In fact the book Seismosaurus the Earthshaker says so also stating that though it is difficult to estimate how much longer than Diplodocus Seismosaurus was it was certainly longer than the 20% estimate gathered through isometric proportions. Most sources including Wikipedia gives a length of 35 metres for Seismosaurus, or 34-36 metres. Answer if this is true and correct if not.

Not correct. Also, Seismosaurus is the same thing as Diplodocus, most likely another specimen of the type species itself D. longus. This is according to research published in the last 5-10 years, long after the book Seismosaurus the Earthshaker which is over 20 years old and far out of date. Dinoguy2 (talk) 11:49, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Just for more accurate info the palaeontologists who revised the length of Seismosaurus/Diplodocus said that it was up to 36 metres long, more specifically 33-36 metres long.

Not accurate info, the scientific publications that have revised down the estimated length are Lucas (1993) which gave 30m, Herne & Lucas (2006) which gave 33m and Lovelace et al. (2007) which gave 30m again. I'll give you some information so you understand why longer estimates are not realistic so you don't have to go to all "seismosaurus" or biggest sauropods related article and make the same questions just to receive the same answers again and again.
1. There's only one specimen referred to "seismosaurus".
2. Gillete's original estimates are based incorrect placement of tail vertebrae and reconstructing missing ones based on how tall the known ones were when compared to well known Diplodocus specimens.(Herne & Lucas, 2006)
3. Gillete ignored that the "seismosaurus" individual has vertebrae proportionally 18% taller than that of the most well known Diplodocus specimen, this will inflate the length of his reconstructed vertebrae.(Herne & Lucas, 2006)
4. The known vertebrae of the "seismosaurus" specimen are, on average, less than 12% longer than those of a ~25m Diplodocus (CM 84). (Herne & Lucas, 2006)
Mike.BRZ (talk) 21:38, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

One more thing, how much percent was thrown off 54 metres? Some sources say 30, others say 40. And how long was Diplodocus Longus? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't think there's an specific percentage but IMO is probably closer to 40% as recent estimates are 33m or less. How long was Diplodocus longus... there's no sufficiently complete specimen to have a very accurate length estimate, they seem to be as complete as the "seismosaurus" one. Mike.BRZ (talk) 16:39, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

I think there should be a sub category on this page for Seismosaurus since there isn't enough detail. What do you think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Taylor (2014) on neck posture[edit]

I originally posted this over at the Apatosaurus page; Mike Taylor's published a new paper about the effects of cartilage on the neutral neck pose in diplodocids. Lythronaxargestes (talk) 19:56, 30 December 2014 (UTC)


Holtz estimates Diplodocus as 30 m (98 ft). Which species is he talking about? Dinosaur Fan (talk) 23:57, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

It has to be D. hallorum, in the comments section he explains how seismosaurus is actually just a very large Diplodocus which makes Diplodocus one of the longest dinosaurs. Mike.BRZ (talk) 01:18, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Skulls known?[edit]

The 2015 revision appears to state that no definite Diplodocus skull is known (which makes the skull mechanics papers cited here problematic), but claims a few are "probably" Diplodocus. If that's the case, what is the skull that D. carnegii specimen CM 84 is often depicted with? The paragraph in question: "However, because no overlap exists with any of the type specimens of Diplodocus species, referral of CM 11161 to that genus remains controversial. Given that no skull with articulated vertebrae included in our analysis can be confidently referred to Diplodocus".[5] FunkMonk (talk) 01:57, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

According to this[6], it appears CM 84 had no skull, and that the skull that has been used in the various mounts is a model based on USNM 2673 and CM 662? Both are now Galeamopus... This source[7] states it was a cast of USNM 2673, not a model. So it seems all Diplodocus mounts and restorations are actually chimaeras... Yikes. And much of what this article states about the skull of Diplodocus also only applies to the new genus. Any thoughts on this, Dinoguy2? You seem to be doing the bulk of the work on the Brontosaurus split. FunkMonk (talk) 12:44, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
True, but, are any of the mount photos close up enough to actually be able to tell the difference between a Galeamopus skull and a cf. Diplodocus skull? They are superficially very similar. I don't think this is a major issue, more on par with any skeleton that incorporates casts of other specimens in the vertebrae, etc. The Brontosaurus mount also uses a cast of an Apatosaurus skull since no excelsus skull has been described (Brontosaurus still has no real head!). I think using a Galeamopus skull on Diplodocus is as good as anything else. Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:17, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, it is completely fine for the skeleton mounts (as Brontosaurus with A. louisae heads), I was thinking more about the text itself (much seems to be based on the Galeamopus specimens and "undetermined" specimens), and about close ups of the skull, used to illustrate skull features. For example, I added a close up of the Dippy mount skull to this article yesterday, but removed it again after realising it was a cast of USNM 2673... And I also removed the close up head restoration, which was also based on USNM 2673. So I think this article should at least state somewhere that no definite Diplodocus skulls are known, and then we need to figure out which specimens were used in the skull/feeding papers... If the specimens are now Galeamopus, I guess the relevant info would have to be moved. FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Ah, ok. As far as the feeding and biomechanics sections are concerned, I don't have those papers to see what specimens were used. If the specimens were Galeamopus, those portions should be moved there. If they were about indeterminate diplodocid skulls, maybe they should be moved to Diplodocidae and also kept here, just tweaked to say "Diplodocids like diplodocus" etc.? Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:40, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Moved the trunk stuff, but there is probably more that does not apply. By the way, it appears the mount at the Carnegie museum[8] uses a cast of skull CM 11161 instead of USNM 2673, so it is slightly more "correct", according to the new paper... I wonder what the Frankfurt[9], Minnesota[10], and MOR[11] specimens really are, but they were not covered by the analysis... FunkMonk (talk) 19:18, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  • On this note, I guess it is impossible for us to know if the privately owned "Dubai Mall dinosaur" even belongs in the genus, though it is a nice picture[12] of a rearing skeleton. Should it be replaced with other images of rearing Diplodocus, either this classic Knight painting[13], or this modern model[14] in Poland? FunkMonk (talk) 08:42, 23 April 2015 (UTC)


The Czerkas paper describing the Howe Quarry diplodocid spines (all specimens in the Howe Quarry are now referred to either Kaatedocus or Barosaurs, no Diplodocus are present) states that most of the spines were found isolated away from any bones except a few examples associated with the "whiplash" section of the tail. Czerkas speculated that they may have extended onto the tail, back, and neck based on comparison with hadrosaurs, though there's no evidence for this. Currently, all of the life restorations in this article show spiny Diplodocus, with spines everywhere BUT the section of the tail they are known from in Kaatedocus/Barosaurus. Is this enough to call them inaccurate, or plausible because Diplodocus is still a different species for which spines are not actually known? The presence of the spines on the whiplash seems to imply some kind of defensive use. Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:14, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

It seems dinosaurs of all groups are arbitrarily depicted with spines of some sort these days (though I guess a full row is only known from ornithopods), and if there's no direct evidence against it, I guess it is within what's possible. Just like dewlaps, the popular feather "mohawks", and other such features, which are only known in a few genera, but are depicted on many others... Also, "serious" modern palaeoartists who work directly with palaeontologists seem to depict these spines as well... FunkMonk (talk) 16:11, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

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